Whitmore has urgent meeting with Irish Water

Wicklow water supply

Deputy Jennifer Whitmore, Social Democrats TD for Wicklow arranged an urgent meeting with Irish Water to discuss the ongoing issue of taste and smell from tap water across North Wicklow. While Irish Water have stated that it is caused by a compound from algae and the water is safe to drink, Deputy Whitmore was responding to many reports of people unable to drink it due to the taste and odour coming from the water.

Speaking with Irish Water, Deputy Whitmore said “whether the water was safe to drink or not, the issue was that the taste and odour was so bad for many people, they couldn’t drink the water. It being an issue for several weeks now, I felt it was important that we got some answers and I was happy that Irish Water agreed to meet with me urgently on this important issue.

“I had many questions regarding the quality of water including how future events such as these can be mitigated and if there are additional ways to filtrate this compound to remove the bad taste and smell. The water has been gradually improving which I welcome, but people were still unclear as to how long the taste would stay in the water and why it was lingering. Furthermore, I had reports of people filtering out a large amount of black residue from their tap water which was not a comforting site to many.

“At the meeting with Irish Water, I asked a range of questions in relation to the filtration system, the water quality reports, looking in detail at how they carry out testing of water quality and what they do in the event of there being large amounts of algae growth. It was reassuring to see that Irish Water carry out a large number of tests using a whole range of procedures and that there is no health risk associated with the algae issue. I did ask whether Irish Water could prevent this from happening again but unfortunately, it’s not as straight forward as we imagine. With the onset of colder temperatures, this will kill off any lingering algae with water taste returning to normal. What is interesting however, is the fact how subjective the taste and odour is for people. Residents from the same home will have completely different reactions with some not smelling or tasting anything at all while others have very strong reactions to the water.

“I will continue to monitor constituents’ reports of water taste and odour issues and following up with Irish Water for each concern. It’s important that the public can trust in our water sources and in Irish Water and I welcome the positive response from Irish Water to meet with me as the area’s public representative” concludes Whitmore.

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