EPA finds water for 46,000 people has cancer-linked pollutant

BT - 10 supplies in Donegal including Greencastle exceed accepted levels of trihalomethanes see this article here for details

By Shannonside news - 1st February 2017

Water supplies serving 46,000 people in the Shannonside region have elevated levels of trihalomethanes – which are environmental pollutants that have been linked to cancer according to the EPA.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘remedial action list’ for the fourth quarter of 2016, four supplies in Longford and two in Roscommon had above the permitted standard of the chemical compound.


A supply serving nearly 10,000 people in Ballymahon was found to have elevated levels of THMs, along with a source for 5,100 people in Gowna

There were similar findings from the EPA in the Granard and Longford Central supplies, which serve a total of nearly 22,000 people.

Three water supplies in Roscommon feature on the list, with the Grangemore, near Boyle, and North Roscommon Regional sources having elevated THMs.

These serve nearly 9,400 people, while the North Roscommon Regional supply featured on the list for having inadequate treatment for cryptosporidium.

No supply in Leitrim is on the remedial action list, with the South Leitrim Regional Water Supply among two that have been removed from it.

In a statement, Irish Water confirms that works are progressing and are on target across the four water supplies in Roscommon that are on the list.

It says it’s investing in ongoing projects to tackle different risks posted to the water supplies affected more than 18,000 people in the county.

Source: Shannonside.ie, Feb 1, 2017

Untreated sewage dumped into waterways at 43 locations


The Environmental Protection Agency has called for a substantial and sustained increase in investment in public waste water treatment infrastructure to protect public health and the environment on foot of substantial discharges of raw sewage last year.

The EPA's 2015 Urban Waste Water Treatment Report details a litany of failures and problems with sewage treatment all over the country.

Twenty-nine large towns and cities including Ringsend, Cork city, Cobh, Youghal, Enniscorthy, Arklow, Lahinch, Ennistymon, Clifden and many more failed to meet mandatory EU sewage standards, the deadline for which was ten years ago.

Untreated sewage is being dumped into the sea and rivers in 43 places, including Rush and Howth in Dublin, An Spideál and An Cheathrú Rua in Galway, Kilmore Quay in Wexford, ten locations in Cork, and 11 in Donegal.

The EPA says it is unacceptable that the timetable tackling the discharges from 20 of these areas has already slipped by almost two years. 

The agency says the current level of capital investment is simply not enough to tackle the infrastructural deficiencies and investment running €100m per year below the average spent between 2000 and 2011.

The report found that waste water from 45 areas was linked to river pollution and that sewage discharges contributed to poor quality bathing water at six popular beaches including Merrion Strand, Youghal Front Strand and Duncannon.

It also found that 16 waste water schemes require improvements to protect the critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel.


EPA programme manager David Flynn said an additional €100 million a year needs to be invested in waste water infrastructure.

He said there has been a legacy of "decades of under investment in the system".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Flynn said that at least €280m to €300m a year, for the next five to seven years, needs to be invested.

He said that while enormous progress has been made since 2000, in comparison to the rest of Europe, Ireland is lagging behind.

Source: RTE News, Nov 24, 2016

Irish Water, EPA, HSA and Government Cover Ups and Misiformation Lead to Massive Water Problems

Irish Water, the Environmental Potection Agency along wity the Health and Safety Authority in Ireland have conned the public into thinking that they have to chlorinate to protect drinking water quality from microbiological contamination.

Startling new revelations uncovered by Friends of the Irish Environment about Trihalomethanes, a cancerous causing chemical in our drinking water has put all agencies responsible for our drinking water in the spotlight.   

Not only are these chemicals caused by a reaction to chlorine being added to the water, but it is now known that the above agencies and our government knew about the problems and the risks of taking this chlorine option.   

Irish Water's biggest lie

Tony Lowes, Director of Friends of the Irish Environment,  holds no punches when it comes to laying the blame for the massive problems today with our drinking water.  He attributes it to the stance  Ireland's regulatory bodies, Irish Water and the Government have taken and has described it as 'Irish Water's Biggest Lie'.

Mr Lowes does not accept the official line and says it is a con to say that it would be dangerous and irresponsible to stop chlorinating  in order to avoid what they class as a 'minor'   by-product of disinfecting with chlorine.    He says that the by product can create more than 60 chemicals classed as  trihalomenthanes, THMs.

Irish Water and supporters are pushing the line ‘The real risk of inadequate chlorination outweighs the risk associated with THMs and should be avoided’. ‘We can’t risk public health!’ they say accusing interfering environmentalists like ourselves and  Erin Brockovitch of ‘scaremongering’.

After a complaint from a resident in Ballycroy County Mayo in 1998 which triggered an EU Environmental Compliance investigation,  Ireland was condemned by the European Court of Justice on  November 14 2002 over the microbiological contamination of hundreds of public and private water supplies.

EU Commission Warned Ireland not to add Chlorine

The EU's Drinking Water Directive requires an absence of e.coli in drinking water supplies in order to protect human health. These bacteria point to a high risk of human pathogens being present.  In 2007 Ireland received a final written warning for not complying with that judgment. After Ireland chose chlorine as an answer to the problem,  the Commission warned them privately that chlorine was not really suitable for Ireland – that two of the biggest threats both biologically and chemically to Irish water are not addressed by chlorine – cryptosporidium and Trihalomethanes.  However, the Commission stance that the method by which a member state addresses a judgment of the court is left to the member state’s discretion.

New York City, for example, protects its water sources so carefully that most of it does not even require filtration and minimal chlorine is used only in conjunction with UV light which inactivates harmful microorganisms but does not change the water chemically since nothing is added except energy.

Carcinogens are being created by method used by Irish Water

Irish water is creating these chemicals by using the wrong kind of disinfectant for our surface waters.  These chemicals were not there before Irish Water got its hands on it.  The unsuspecting public are  paying the price now for the refusal of the Irish State to listen to good advice.  Instead the state took the ‘cheap’ and easy way out.

Mr Lowes said  "The Irish State has been putting your health at unnecessary risk.  Alternative methods of disinfection like UV light and filtration systems would have rendered the current water treatment structure obsolete (as it has transpired to be), so requiring more money and higher maintenance – with chlorine, you just chuck it in. All the Commission could do and did with diligence was to pursue Ireland relentlessly to at least install chlorine meters, as chlorine is a poison and as they say in the trade, ‘poison is in the dose’.
o it’s NOT a question of chlorine OR THMs. Chlorine does not stop cryptosporidium. And it actually creates THMs. Don’t believe their lie."

Tony Lowes
Director Friends of the Irish Environment
Office 353 (0)27 74771
Mobile 353 (0)87 2176316
Kilcatherine, Eyeries, County Cork