Ura­nium found in wa­ter sup­ply

Novem­ber 2002

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

THE dis­cov­ery of ura­nium in a west Wick­low wa­ter sup­ply has sparked safety con­cerns for wa­ter all over the coun­try.

Ran­dom EPA tests on the well at Lathaleere, Balt­in­glass, which sup­plies 20 per cent of the town’s wa­ter, have shown the pres­ence of the metal in the wa­ter at 70 times the safe lev­els as set by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Wick­low County Coun­cil has shut down the Lathaleere well. Se­nior Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fice, Thomas Mur­phy, said the coun­cil was re­cently no­ti­fied b y the EPA of the pres­ence of ‘ura­nium 238’ in wa­ter from the well that ‘pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, are a source of con­cern in the con­text of WHO guidelines.’

The EPA has rec­om­mended as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure that the coun­cil un­der­take a sur­vey of both pub­lic and pri­vate wa­ter sup­plies in the county to de­ter­mine ura­nium lev­els.

They say it would ap­pear that lo­calised ge­o­log­i­cal con­di­tions might be re­sult­ing in ura­nium lev­els in drink­ing wa­ter in ex­cess of WHO guidelines.

Balt­in­glass based TD, Billy Tim­mins, said he was deeply dis­turbed by the find­ings.

‘It is very wor­ry­ing. We do not know what the con­se­quences of this may be or if the ura­nium has al­ways been there or if it is new.’

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