Mullingar treatment plant upgrade prioritised after EPA audit

The water treatment plant for the Mullingar Regional Supply is to be prioritised for an upgrade following an EPA audit.

The treatment plant, which supplies water to almost 50,000 people, has been placed on the EPA's Remedial Action List for priority actions for Irish Water.

In the EPA's Drinking Water Quality in Public Supplies Report 2018, the organisation says that public water supplies are added to the list for four reasons:

• Persistent failure to comply with the standards for priority parameters, that is, E. coli, trihalomethanes, pesticides, aluminium or turbidity.

• Inadequate treatment, for example, where there is no treatment other than chlorination for a surface water supply.

• Monitoring results or compliance checks by the EPA indicate a lack of operational control at the supply’s treatment plant.

• The Health Service Executive identify a supply where improvements are required.

While the report does not state the reason why the treatment plant was included on the list, in a statement to the Westmeath Examiner, the EPA says that the water in the Mullingar area is “currently safe to drink” and no Cryptosporidium has been detected.

The report also stated, however, that a boil notice has been put in place on a single house in the Mullingar Regional Supply. Three people reside at the property.

“The Boil Water Notice was placed on this property after a sample taken there tested positive for coliform bacteria. Irish Water were able to take samples in nearby properties and found no other quality failures, disinfection levels were satisfactory, but they were unable to take a repeat sample at the property to assess whether the failure was due to a contaminated tap or plumbing inside the property. So the Boil Water Notice was placed to protect the consumers’ health within that property, but it does not affect the rest of the Mullingar Regional Supply,” the EPA said.

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