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."