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21/11/17 Donegal Remedial Action List reduced to 11 water supplies

The Fintown water supply has been removed from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL) following a programme of investment by Irish Water which has seen the connection of Fintown water customers to the Glenties supply. This means that Fintown customers are now enjoying improved water quality and security of supply following this €1.1 million investment by Irish Water.


The Fintown supply was on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL) for high levels of THMs and these works were undertaken to reduce the risk posed by THMs for these customers. The works consisted of the construction of 1km of water mains in Fintown, 2.9km in Glenties and 800m in Meenahalla. Two booster pumping stations were also constructed at Shallogans and Straboy.


Works are progressing on 11 Donegal water supplies with a view to having them removed from the RAL as soon as possible.


Irish Water is currently upgrading or constructing three new plants to include a cryptosporidium barrier, at Glenties-Ardara, Owenteskna-Kilcar, and Letterkenny.


Six water supplies in Donegal have elevated THM levels, which have been recorded as above the standard in the Drinking Water Regulations. THMs, or Trihalomethanes are chemicals formed as a by-product of chlorination, the important process that removes harmful bacteria from drinking water. While removing THM’s from drinking water is a priority for Irish Water, the disinfection of drinking water is vital in order to prevent the real risk of illness and potential fatalities from those consuming water contaminated with harmful bacteria.


Works have just been completed at the Cashilard water treatment plant and consumers in the area are now being supplied with an improved water quality where the risk from THMs has been reduced. At Creeslough the treatment plant is being upgraded, while works at both the Rathmullen and Greencastle sources are also in progress. The Portnoo-Narin scheme has been replaced by the Lettermacaward scheme where upgrade works have been recently completed.


Two other Donegal schemes which are on the RAL are Pettigo and Gortahork-Falcarragh. In Pettigo the disinfection and filtration systems are being improved and all works will be complete by year end. In Gortahork-Falcarragh, where there are high levels of aluminium in the water a new plant is under construction. 


Speaking about the RAL and the ongoing work in Donegal, Irish Water’s Regional Compliance Specialist Pat O’Sullivan said: “The publication of the latest RAL update is a confirmation of the focus and dedication of Irish Water and Donegal County Council in ensuring the delivery of clean and wholesome water in the county.


“As a single utility Irish Water can take a comprehensive look at the overall performance of Ireland’s drinking water production plants for the first time so that when the most serious problems are identified like some of the issues in Donegal, projects and budgets can be prioritised.” 


The work to improve drinking water supplies on the RAL in Donegal is part of the major investment of €73 million committed by Irish Water to water supply projects in Co Donegal which will directly benefit 90,000 people. Working with Donegal County Council, delivering these projects will make a real and important difference to our customers. By building four new treatment plants and upgrading existing plants we can decommission a number of smaller underperforming plants and see the removal of 11 remaining water supplies from the EPA’s list of supplies at risk of contamination.

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