The Water Advisory Board has expressed concern about the number of boil water notices that are lasting over a month, in particular highlighting the “disappointing” long term boil water notice in Whitegate Regional water supply in Cork, which affects almost 10,000 people.
In its second Quarterly Report for 2022, the Water Advisory Body (WAB) said it is concerned that 20 out of the 21 boil water notices in place at the end of Q1 2022 are long-term (exceeding 30 days).
This means that the solution to fix the problem with the plant could not be addressed quickly and requires significant investment by Irish Water.
The WAB specifically highlighted one larger water supply on a long-term boil water notices at the end of Q1 2022; Whitegate Regional in Co. Cork, which serves 9,482 people.
Chairperson of The Water Advisory Body, Paul McGowan, said that under normal circumstances “the WAB expects that no consumer should be on a long-term boil water notice”.
He said that almost all of the current boil water notices being long term is a “disappointing trend” and that the WAB “will continue to monitor Irish Water’s progress in this area”.
Within its quarterly report, WAB also welcomed the fact that Cork City complied with mandatory EU waste water treatment standards for the first time in 2021, following recent upgrades to treatment plants serving the area.
The stated deadline to meet these standards imposed by the EU through the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive was 2005.
The WAB highlighted that Kinsale and Clonakilty were re-added to the list of priority areas where water treatment needs to improve in 2021, due to failure to comply with the same EU waste water treatment standards.
The advisory board said that this was a “concern” to the Environmental Protection Agency, and that the two towns “have the capacity to meet the Directive’s standards and had complied with the standards in 2020”.
“This highlights the need for Irish Water to ensure ongoing vigilance and oversight in the operation of waste water treatment plants to get the best from them at all times,” the report concludes.