Ir­ish Wa­ter moves to calm con­cerns fol­low­ing dis­cov­ery of crypto par­a­site in Mill­street sup­ply

The Corkman - - NEWS - BILL BROWNE

THE HSE be­lieve there is no need to put a boil wa­ter no­tice in place in Mill­street – de­spite the dis­cov­ery of a par­a­site in the lo­cal sup­ply on five sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions over a two-month pe­riod.

Last week The Cork­man re­ported how the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency (EPA) had in­structed Ir­ish Wa­ter to pri­ori­tise the treat­ment of the sup­ply af­ter the par­a­site cryp­tosporid­ium was found in the sup­ply twice in Septem­ber and on three oc­ca­sions in Oc­to­ber.

The sup­ply, 90% of which is sourced from the un­cov­ered Tubrid Spring, pro­vides a daily sup­ply of 2,200 cu­bic square me­tres of wa­ter to a lo­cal pop­u­la­tion of 3,800 peo­ple.

The EPA sub­se­quently added the Mill­street sup­ply to their re­me­dial ac­tion list and in their au­dit re­port is­sued sev­eral rec­om­men­da­tions to Ir­ish Wa­ter about ac­tion they felt needed to be taken to ad­dress the is­sue.

These in­cluded mak­ing sure the Tubrid Spring was fenced off and se­cure to pre­vent an­i­mal ac­cess and that a small hole over the clear wa­ter sump was sealed to pre­vent con­tam­i­na­tion to treated wa­ter.

The EPA also or­dered that an ul­tra vi­o­let trans­mit­tance mon­i­tor, which Ir­ish Wa­ter had ad­mit­ted had been off­line pe­ri­od­i­cally since it was in­stalled last May, be “oper­a­tional at all times.”

One of the key rec­om­men­da­tions was that Ir­ish Wa­ter in­stall a suit­able bar­rier against cryp­tosporid­ium as soon as pos­si­ble in or­der to en­sure the Mill­street pub­lic wa­ter sup­ply was “ad­e­quately dis­in­fected”

A spokesman for, Ervia, the com­pany re­spon­si­ble for the roll-out of Ir­ish wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture, told The Cork­man they im­me­di­ately set about work­ing on the EPA rec­om­men­da­tions.

This has in­cluded a com­mit­ment to in­stall a new ul­tra vi­o­let (UV) dis­in­fec­tion sys­tem at the Mill­street treat­ment plant.

“The new sys­tem will en­sure that wa­ter from the pub­lic sup­ply in Mill­street has a fully val­i­dated cryp­tosporid­ium in­ac­ti­va­tion bar­rier, which will treat wa­ter thereby mit­i­gat­ing the risk,” said the spokesman.

“Ir­ish Wa­ter has in­di­cated to the EPA that in­stal­la­tion of the new UV sys­tem should be com­plete by the sec­ond quar­ter of 2017.

The spokesman said the Ir­ish Wa­ter and Cork County Coun­cil would con­tinue to closely mon­i­tor the wa­ter qual­ity at the Mill­street treat­ment plant and share their re­sults with the HSE to “en­sure any risk to pub­lic health was iden­ti­fied.

He said that de­spite the dis­cov­ery of the par­a­site the HSE, based on the wa­ter qual­ity re­sults ob­tained to date, “have not deemed it nec­es­sary” to im­pose a boil wa­ter no­tice on the Mill­street sup­ply.

“If at any time the HSE deem that the wa­ter qual­ity poses a risk to pub­lic health and a boil wa­ter no­tice is re­quired, this will be im­posed with im­me­di­ate ef­fect and the com­mu­nity in Mill­street will be in­formed im­me­di­ately,” said the spokesman.

He said Cus­tomers with any queries

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