Galway Boil Water Notice Highlights Once Again The Politics of Water

Why are the people of Ireland not up in arms, insisting that they be told the truth about their drinking water?  The truth that there are cancer causing chemicals in our drinking water and that over 1 million us are consuming it?   The truth that coming into contact with these carcinogenic chemicals is adding substantially to our risk of cancer.  The truth that the Irish Government, Irish Water, the EPA and HSA all know abouttrihalomethanes chemicals and their links to cancer. 

The Government know the truth and theyknow that it is caused by adding chlorine to water.  However, they prefer to keep it quiet.

In fact they were advised by the European Commission in 2007 that it was not the right method to use and that it could cause worse problems.  And this is exactly what has come to pass.   It is the reaction of chlorine and organic matter in the water that causes, among other things, Thrihalomethane (THMs). 

(See EU Commission warned Ireland Not to add chlorine)


Boiling water increases the concentrations of Trihalomethanes

Boiling water increases the concentrations of Trihalomethanes

The Big Question Is Who Made That Decision?

Whether it was a combination of years of neglect, penny pinching or it was a race to comply with Europe's Water Framework Directive,  Ireland's water quality and its state of the art treatment system are years behind what the Government are telling Europe. 

The government took wrong decision by ignoring the Commission's advice in 2007 that chlorine was the wrong way to go for Ireland. 

The big question is who made that decision?  (read our article Here covering this and information on trihalomethanes and other chemicals)

Whoever made the decision to ignore Europe and take the cheaper chlorination route has a lot to answer.  It has been all downhill since then with outbreaks of Cryptosporidiums and Trihalomethanes in the water supply.  Instead of admitting the mistake and taking sound advice from Europe not to add chlorine, the government and our monitoring agencies decided to continue with the approach.  In this recalcitrant way they cooked the books, fooling the Irish people and took advantage of the bureaucratic nature of the EU.  Their expensive reports were like the water itself,  outwardly crystal clear but on scrutiny totally contaminated. 

Government Do Not Want To Mention Cancer but Cry Bacteria

The government and Irish Water are scaring the public with the big bacterial bug but are hiding the fact that the their so called remedy is worse.  What is worse is the fact that they are responsible in the first place for not heeding Europe.  To cover up they are fooling the public by media articles, (code reds),  telling the public that they are doing everythingto provide safe drinking water.  Trust them they are experts. 

But there is even worse.  What they are telling us to do, i.e 'Boil Notice' may kill the bacteria but it will intensify the trihalomethanes, in turn putting our health further at risk.  They do not want to mention THMs or cancer.  No they do not want to go down that road.  Instead they cry bacteria and they don't mention the skeleton in the closet.

Irish Cancer Figures

The below figures are taken from  The reason we are publishing them is to counteract the argument that Cryptosporidiosis is somehow less than trihalomethanes. 

  • Cancer accounts for over one-quarter of the annual death toll.

  • Cancer is the second most common cause of death in Ireland.

  • The most recent figures show that 8,585 people died from cancer in 2009. 

  • We sourced this data from the Central Statistics Office.

The following is taken form the Irish Examiner, Jan, 2011

"IRELAND has some of the highest cancer rates in the world.  Figures compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) show Ireland’s cancer rates are continuing to dwarf those in other regions.
According to the findings, based on age-standardised 2008 WHO statistics, at 317 cases per 100,000 people, this country currently has the second highest diagnoses of all forms of cancer out of 50 nations analysed worldwide. These figures put us below only Denmark at 326 cases per 100,000.
In the women-only category Ireland has 285 cases per 100,000 people, placing us as the country with the third highest cancer rate behind Denmark (325) and New Zealand (287).
Among men the figure stands at 356 per 100,000, again placing us in third place behind French metropolitan areas (361) and Australia (361)


Galway Boil Water Notice Greates further Health Risks

The following is a statement from Tony Lowes, Friends of the Irish Environment, Mar 09, 2016.

"Trihalomethane’s [THMs], carcinogenic chemicals have created an additional health risk to water consumers in Carraroe, County Galway because of Irish Water’s 'Boil Water' notice. The Carraroe group water scheme is recorded as exceeding the WHO/EU limits in 4 of the last 5 water quality tests.

THMs are a group of more than 60 chemicals, including chloroform which is classed as a carcinogen, created in drinking water as a result of reaction between organic materials, such as peaty soil, to chlorine added as a disinfectant.

It is universally accepted that THMs are volatile chemicals that present a specific and particular danger through inhalation. Yet this is exactly what Irish Water has instructed consumers to do by bringing the water to a “vigorous, rolling boil”

Absorption through the skin and inhalation of THMs associated with everyday tap water use such as showering can result in ‘THM blood concentrations rising 5- to 15-fold, according to USA study.

FIE is not suggesting that Irish Water stop chlorinating the water before the infrastructure is rationalised, but it borders on the criminal to instruct consumers to boil the water without informing them of the necessary precautions, including ensuring adequate ventilation to protect themselves and their family from inhaling the dangerous chemicals released from boiling THM-laden water. An EPA Direction issued to Irish Water required completion of works including filtration and UV to address cryptosporidium in this supply by 30/11/15.’

FIE is continuing its campaigning to have consumers informed directly on their bills of exceedances of the WHO/EU permitted level of THMs in their water supplies."

 Read the full Rriends of the Irish Environment Press Release

Are we missing something?

Maybe the newly elected Teachtaí Dála are more preoccupied with affairs of state, thinking about 'the good of the country', more like a euphemism for 'ourselves' than to bother with minutia of trihalomethanes and our drinking water.  Maybe they don't bother to look at the small print whilst in committees, sitting in their soft leather seats and instead rubber stamp anything that comes their way.  In either case the people of Ireland are not being served.