Irish Water critcised over unsafe drinking water at Gorey plant

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Irish Water engineers are to examine the top 20 water treatment plants in the country as a priority, after contaminated water entered the drinking water last month.

52 people became ill after drinking unsafe water originating from the Gorey plant in Co Wexford, while the Ballymore Eustace plant in Co Dublin produced unsafe water for 10 consecutive hours.

Irish Water is being critcised for taking a number of days to inform the EPA and the HSE about the issues.

Chair of An Fóram Uisce Professor, Tom Collins, says information regarding drinking water needs to be available in real-time.

“If there is a breakdown, information must be instantly conveyed.

“And not just to one source or to one person but to all the relevant authorities at the same time.

“They being in this cases Irish Water, the EPA and the HSE all need to hear about it when it happened and all need to hear about it simultaneously.”

Paula Mongey and her family were impacted by the water contamination in Gorey, County Wexford.

While she has now been told it is safe to drink, she’s reluctant to do so.

“I’m not taking any chances.

“The water may be fine but it’s the lack of information and the fact that nobody was forthcoming.

“At the very least a ‘boil water’ notice should have been issued because we weren’t the only families effected in the area and Gorey is quite a big town.”

Meanwhile the Chief Executive of Wexford County Council, Mr. Tom Enright, today issued a statement to South East Radio.  He said “Eamonn Hore, Director of Services, who has an in-depth knowledge of the Creagh Plant, gave a detailed explanation of events that led to the unsafe water entering the pubic water supply in Gorey and provided an apology from the Council, while on South East Radio’s Morning Mix on Monday.  Mr. Enright continued “I reiterate that sincere apology”.

His statement also says “the Council continue to investigate the matter with Irish Water and the HSE”.  Mr. Enright confirmed “the Council has put measures in place for all water treatment facilities in Co. Wexford operated by the Council with Irish Water to be fully inspected and checked.  He said, “I wish to reassure people in Gorey that extensive testing of the water supply in the town over the past 4 weeks has shown that the water is safe to drink”

Mr. Enright concluded by saying ” I welcome the opportunity” to be interviewed on South East Radio “when the investigation is concluded and when I will be in a position to fully outline the circumstances that led to this serious incident taking place, and to detail measures that have been put in place to prevent a recurrence in the future”.

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