independent

Monday 14 October 2019

Angry Wexford mayor attacks Irish Water over lead

By David Tucker

irish Water has been accused of being intransigent and useless following its refusal to adopt a county council proposals to reduce lead levels in Wexford's water pipes.

'This procedure is being trialed in two other towns, but Irish Water have refused to extend the pilot to Wexford,' said the Mayor, Cllr George Lawlor.

Cllr Lawlor said he received a complaint from a resident of Bishopswater who had receieved a letter from Irish Water about the lead contamination.

'They were concerned, so I asked the county council for their opinion and they confirmed to me that they had offered Irish Water an alternative by dosing the Newtown supply with a food extract called orthophosphate.

'It coats the insides of the pipes and mitigates the problems of high levels of lead,' Cllr Lawlor told this newspaper.

'Irish Water was intransigent about this and it's disgraceful that they still thought fit to send out the letters to residents without offering them a solution.. it's typical of the type of PR that Irish Water operates,' he said.

'There are other areas of town where the pipes are more than 40 years old and Irish Water needs to act immediately to that any levels of lead that show up in tests are reduced immediately for the safety of all the people of Wexford.'

'There could be thousands of people affected with the same problem, particularly those with back yard supplies.

Irish Water said there was a pilot study using it orthophosphate in Limerick, however, an overall strategy had not been agreed with the HSE and more testing had to take place.

'Therefore introducing orthophosphate dosing in Wexford in advance of national agreement with the various stakeholders on the policy is premature,' it said.

Cllr Lawlor said that lead levels of 10 parts per billion were not perceived as dangerous until last year when the acceptable maximum concentration was lowered.

Wexford People

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