Irish Water Schemes Faces Water Contamination

Posted in: Global Water News
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Article courtesy of Paul Melia | May 17th, 2016 | Business Farming | Shared as educational material.

Photo Credit: Business Farming

More than twenty thousand rural households in Ireland have been identified with drinking water supplies that have a health risk to the public. The cause is trihalomethane or THM contamination. This chemical is extremely dangerous. Long-term exposure to this compound can create the risk of certain types of cancer and effects may be even worse if drinking untreated water. THMs usually appear in water sources after chlorine has been added as part of the disinfection process. The contaminated supplies were found by the European Commission as part of a case against the Irish government. These THMs are in public supplies which put more than three hundred fifty thousand families at risk. It only goes to illustrating the difficulty at which it is to maintain clear and untreated water.

Along with THMs, figures from the EPA have suggested that dangerous bugs such as E. Coli have also contamination private drinking water supplies of Ireland. It is above the standard accepted by the EPA, which only bodes danger for the public health of the Irish. Brian MacDonald, Research and Evaluation Officer with the National Federation of Group Water Schemes (NFGWS), states that a lot of money, nearly one billion euros, was spent on innovating water schemes in Ireland. However, he claims it isn’t enough. The installation of an effective disinfection system, one that could eliminate THMs, was necessary, albeit expensive. Last year, by itself, there were around twenty-four water schemes that had failed to meet standards for E. Coli concentrations. Another fifty had other microbiological contamination problems, indicating that innovation in this sector is much needed as well. Unfortunately, although the water sector is in high demand, not many individuals are focusing their attention that way. Read more about the issues that face Ireland’s water schemes here.

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