“It is imperative that people have confidence in the public water supply that they rely on but the only way to achieve that is to see credible answers to the questions raised and real accountability for those responsible.”

Social Democrats co-leader and TD for North Kildare, Catherine Murphy, has said she has serious concerns about the circumstances surrounding the latest Boil Water notice and the operation of the Leixlip water plant.  Catherine Murphy said she couldn’t ever remember a boil water notice being in place for the areas serviced by the Leixlip water plant yet here we have had two in as many weeks. She said people were seriously concerned about trusting their water supply and the issue is coming up on the doors in both North Kildare and over the weekend during canvassing for the by-elections in Dublin Mid-West.

Catherine Murphy TD said:

“It is no insignificant thing to have 600,000 homes on a boil water notice and having to spend money to buy bottled water.  Given that €30 million has been spent in very recent years upgrading the plant, including the intake system, there are very legitimate questions as to why a situation of this scale has been possible. It is important to understand how the intake system for the Leixlip plant works.  Whereas Ballymore Eustace for example takes its water from source, Leixlip takes it from further downstream. Further upstream to the intake location is a regional sewerage plant and several pumping stations. We need to understand if what is happening at these sites is impacting on the water quality being taken in by the Leixlip plant.

Public confidence was already at very low ebb following the boil water notice from last week. On the doors of my own constituency of Kildare North and in Dublin Mid-West over the weekend many people asked me if it was safe to drink the water.  I believe this second boil water notice will now completely shatter confidence in the water supply in the areas affected. The only way to attempt to restore that confidence is for people to see actual accountability. People need to understand what happened, why it happened and the measures in place to ensure it does not happen again. There are very legitimate concerns about the delays in issuing the notice and how the public were informed. Confusion has been the hallmark of Irish Water communications on the issue and this is adding to the fear.

It is imperative that people have confidence in the public water supply that they rely on but the only way to achieve that is to see credible answers to the questions raised and real accountability for those responsible.”

5th Nov 2019