Pesticide levels are of concern at Limerick treatment plants

TWO water treatment plants, supplying more than 16,000 people, remain on the Environmental Protection Agency’s corrective action list due to high levels of pesticides.

The two projects are Newcastle West providing 9,448 people and Foynes / Shannon providing 7,023 people.

In the meantime, according to Irish Water, the problems with the Fedamore water treatment plant, which was also on the EPA’s list, have now been resolved.

A new groundwater source as well as ultraviolet filtration and disinfection processes are now in place and a long-standing boil water advisory was lifted in mid-December.

“It is important to note that a supply on the Corrective Action List (RAL) does not mean that it does not meet drinking water standards and / or that the water is unfit for consumption.” , said a spokesperson for Irish Water in Limerick. Leader.

“This list identifies supplies that the EPA considers ‘at risk’ and must be improved to ensure that water supplies continue to be potable and are also secure in the future.”

Irish Water has a plan in place for all plants on the corrective action list, he added. Regarding the Newcastle West and Foynes / Shannon programs, the spokesperson said, the Pesticide Action Procedure is being applied.

“Irish Water strongly believes that education, awareness and, where appropriate, law enforcement on the responsible use of pesticides is the most appropriate and holistic approach to minimizing pesticide levels in the area. ‘potable water,’ the spokesperson continued.

“Pesticides should not be present in water sources (ie the aquatic environment) used to produce drinking water. The ownership and responsibility for solving this problem in the aquatic environment is extremely complex and rests with many stakeholders. “

“Great care should always be taken to protect drinking water supplies wherever the use of pesticides is deemed necessary, especially when using grassland weed control products containing substances such as MCPA. , fluroxypyr and 2,4-D. These and other substances have been detected in drinking water supplies in Ireland. If there is no threat to public health, the levels detected sometimes exceed the legally permitted limit value for pesticides in drinking water, which is set at an extremely low value (equivalent to a drop in a swimming pool). Olympic).

Irish Water also said it is investing € 65million in a Limerick disinfection program and that 19 factories in Limerick have been modernized and standardized so far.

The EPA is working with the City and County Council of Limerick to conduct a comprehensive assessment of water treatment plants in the county and city.

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