EPA detects potential cancer risk in north Roscommon water

Water supplies serving 7,400 people in north Roscommon have dangerously high levels of trihalomethanes (THMs) – environmental pollutants that can cause cancer – the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found.

  They found that the Grangemore supply, near Boyle, and the North Roscommon Regional Water Supply Scheme had “elevated levels of THMs above the standard in the drinking water regulations”.

  THMs are the result of a reaction between the chlorine used for disinfecting tap water and natural organic matter in the water.

  The Grangemore supply serves 700 people, while the latter serves a population of 6,742. They are both classified by the EPA as ‘THM failures’.

  Both supplies are included on the latest edition of their Remedial Action List – supplies known to be at risk and where the EPA is requiring Irish Water to take corrective action.

  In the case of Grangemore, the remedial action proposed is that the supply be replaced by the Boyle/Ardcarne Water Treatment Works by December 21. In the interim, the “optimisation of the disinfection system” is proposed.

  In the case of the North Roscommon supply, the action proposed is to upgrade the water treatment plant by June 17, and that in interim, “chlorine and turbidity monitors be installed”.

  The EPA’s report also found that 8,615 people in Co. Roscommon remain subjected to ‘boil water’ notices – 3,598 at Ballinlough/Loughglynn and 5,017 people served by the North East Roscommon Water Supply Scheme.

  The latter serves the greater Strokestown area. In both cases, the notices are because of cryptosporidum, which can cause a diarrhoea-type illness.