Controversy over Irish Water's boil water notices due to presence of Trihalomethanes


Paul Melia's article in the Irish Independent Mar 31, 2016   '250,000 homes face boil-water notices, Irish Water warns',  is really what it is, a warning from Irish Water.   What you have to do with this article isread between the lines.  It is actually saying "don't abolish Irish Water otherwise you are all going to die, well maybe those in the 250,000 homes which are serviced from 470 crap plants throughout the country, spewing out cryptosporidiums . 

Photo from

Photo from


Don't you get the feeling from the article that the timing of Irish Water's revelations is a bit opportunistic?    Looking over their shoulder are Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, AAA/PBP, SD, Independents and Independent Alliance TDs (incidentally not the Greens) and they are going to abolish this overpriced quango. 

Mr Melia's facts and figures are mesmerising, well baffling really.  One would need a calculator, an Irish Water one,  to work it all out.   Whatever number of Irish Water plants are not fit for purpose, would 6 water test's per year be adequate?  Every day would be more like it.

Irish Water are worried about getting the heave-ho so they are making sure they are going to scare the living daylights out of the Irish people.  They are warning you that if you don't want to get sick or worse then they are the only act in town.   From what they are saying you would think that the Irish would have become an extinct species by this stage, foiled by the minute cryptosporidium bug.   Anyway Irish Water' s experts have found all this out in the nick of time and by the way they have a €3.5 billion investment plan to put everything right.   In the meantime Irish Water have issued boil water notices throughout the country.  The steam will be rising in every house in the country.


Failure to disclose

What the Irish Water experts and Mr Melia investigation failed to disclose is that Irish Water are using the cheapest filtration system in all their plants.  This system incorporates the dumping of thousands of tonnes of chlorine into to the water.  It this chemical additive that causes 'trihalomethanes', a group of chemicals including chloroform a deadly carcinogen. 

This article 'Boiling what? Controversy over boil water notices due to presence of Trihalomethanes' from is a short synopsis of the issues.  But then again Irish Water knows all this.
‘Boil water’ notices that were issued to Irish water consumers  are being met with fresh scrutiny, with fears that boiling water could increase the potency of certain harmful chemicals.  The chemicals at the centre of the controversy are Trihalomethanes (THM’s), which are toxic compounds that occur in water due to the reaction of organic chemicals, when chlorine is added as a disinfectant.  Environmental NGO ‘Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) previously called on Irish water to inform consumers of the health risks associated with exposure to THM’s, which include the development of certain cancers, harm to the central nervous system, and miscarriage among pregnant women.

While the European Ombudsman ruled that Irish water could not be forced to provide information on THM’s to consumers, there is concern that consumers may be boiling THM infested water.  This is due to a large number of ‘boil water’ notices that were issued to consumers across the country, due to the presence of cryptosporidium in the water. One example is in Galway, where ‘boil water’ notices remain in place in the area’s of Williamstown, Loughrea, Carraroe, and Tiernee/Lettermore.

A paradoxical situation has emerged, whereby consumers may be avoiding risk of exposure to cryptosporidium by boiling their water, but may be increasing their risk of exposure to THM’s.  As FIE director Tony Lowes states:  ”Boiling water that contains high level of THM’s creates an imminent danger to public health because the volatile chemicals are released and absorbed by the skin and through inhalation at a rate 5-15 times faster than drinking the water”.