Sunday Independent claims on contamination of water supplies rubbished
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has welcomed confirmation from Louth County Council that the drinking water supply in Dundalk and on the Fane River is safe.
Teachta Adams said:
“Following the scandalous Sunday Independent story which claimed that drinking water for Dundalk had been poisoned I wrote to the various agencies, including Louth County Council and Uisce Éireann, to ask if they would carry out an analysis of the water system.
“Irish Water confirmed last week that there was no contamination of the water supply and Louth County Council contacted me on Wednesday to also confirm that:
‘Regular testing is carried out on drinking water in Dundalk, and the water fully complies in all respects.
‘Following concerns raised by recent articles in the Sunday Independent, Louth County Council arranged for additional specialist sampling and testing of the drinking water supply in Dundalk.
‘The additional sampling was carried out on the 29th of January 2015. The results of these samples for PAH fully comply with the Drinking Water Regulations. A sample was also taken on the River Fane and these tests were clear and fully compliant.’
“Given the level of fear and apprehension that the original story had given rise to among people living in the Dundalk a later statement sought to reassure customers that ‘there is no evidence to suggest that the drinking water supply has been or is contaminated as a result of the illegal activity as reported by the Sunday Independent.’
“It was also revealed that Irish Water are in the process of installing an ‘online Hydrocarbon monitor on the raw water abstraction point on the River Fane. This will automatically shut down the treatment plant if hydrocarbons above a specified limit are detected. This will further ensure the safety of drinking water supplied to our customers in Dundalk.’
“Another media report quoted an Irish Water spokesperson stating that the agency had been in touch with the Environmental Protection Agency and that testing had shown that there was no risk to public water supplies. The spokesperson said that 75 compliance tests were conducted last year – three times more than usual – and none showed any evidence of pollution.
“The Sunday Independent published an unfounded article which gave rise to considerable fear, and had the potential to seriously impact on business and tourism in Dundalk. It also necessitated significant effort by several agencies to carry out analysis of water. All of the analysis has disproved the Sunday Independent claims.”