Irish Water has yet to eliminate the risk of the cryptosporidium bug polluting the Portlaoise drinking water supply but it says it has an expert on the job.
The State-owned company confirmed that work is progressing to upgrade the Kilminchy Water treatment plant in Co Laois which remains on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL).
It is now the only water supply in Laois that remains on the RAL which was recently published by the EPA. Portlaoise's supply has been on the at risk list for more than two years.
Irish Water says work carried over recent years and months has seen a vast improvement in the quality of drinking water being delivered to the public in Laois.
The Portlaoise Water Supply, which is served by the Kilminchy Water Treatment plant, remains on the RAL for inadequate treatment for cryptosporidium.
Irish Water said that Cryptosporidium is a very real threat to the water supply if the proper barriers are not in place.
A consultant hydrogeologist has been appointed and is continuing to carry out a cryptosporidium risk assessment at the Kilminchy Water Treatment Plant.
The utility said work is ongoing to upgrade the treatment processes at the plant and a contractor has been appointed to upgrade the disinfection process. This work is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017 and will help facilitate the removal of the Portlaoise Water Supply from the EPA RAL benefiting 19,000 people.
Speaking about the RAL and the ongoing work in Laois, Irish Water’s Padraig Farrell, East Midlands Capital Programmes Lead said: “The publication of the latest RAL update is a confirmation of the focus and dedication of Irish Water in ensuring the delivery of clean and wholesome water in the county.
“As a single utility Irish Water is able to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of Ireland’s drinking water production plants and where serious compliance challenges are found they can be tackled more effectively and efficiently,” he said.
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