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  • Northside East

Meeting hears about water quality concerns

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019 8:00am
Meeting hears about water quality concerns

Concerns have been raised over the water quality in Coolock. PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

Meeting hears about water quality concerns

Concerns have been raised over the water quality in Coolock. PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

A PUBLIC information meeting was held in Coolock last Thursday night for residents to voice their concerns about the quality of drinking water in the area.

Details supplied to a national newspaper recently through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request show that lead levels some 12 times above the legal limit have been discovered in parts of Coolock.

Cllr John Lyons (Independent Left), who hosted the meeting, which was attended by approximately 40 people, said he wrote to Irish Water twice in one week seeking further details into the matter.

 Cllr Lyons, who represents the Beaumont-Donaghmede Local Electoral Area (LEA), described the development as a very serious public health issue.  

He said: “To date, the public still does not know if the lead levels were caused by the presence of lead in the public mains or the private distribution system, and how extensive is the presence of lead in the water supply: confined to a small area or widespread? 

“I have requested that Irish Water host a public meeting in Coolock to address these questions, and the many more, residents in the area may have.

In a statement to Northside People, Irish Water said that since it was established it has been “working hard” to improve and safeguard the quality and supply of drinking water. 

“The water that leaves our treatment plants is free from lead and there are no lead public water mains in Ireland, so in the vast majority of cases, lead in the water comes from lead plumbing inside the private property boundary,” said a spokesman. 

“In 2016 as part of the Government’s National Strategy to Reduce Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water, Irish Water initially wrote to 38,000 people who we identified as having lead in their drinking water through our metering programme and our drinking water testing programme.

“We continue to write to people as we find lead services as part of our monitoring programmes with detailed information and advice.” 

The spokesman said lead plumbing was used widely in houses built up to the 1980s and it is estimated that there are 180,000 properties in Ireland with lead plumbing. 

“This estimate is based on the age of the housing stock around the country,” he said. 

“As water passes through private connections (the pipe from the road to the property) or internal plumbing made of lead, the lead can be dissolved into the water. If lead is present then the homeowner will need to replace their internal plumbing.” 

Irish Water said there is a Government grant scheme to help with this and information is available on

Irish Water has replaced 22,000 lead service connections through its programmes of work.  

“Almost 800 homeowners have availed of the Customer Opt-in Lead Pipe Replacement Scheme, whereby we will prioritise the replacement of lead service connections on the public side for those customers that have replaced the lead pipes in their properties,” added the spokesperson. 

“Many more homeowners could potentially benefit from safer pipes if they replaced their internal lead plumbing.” 

• If anyone has concerns about their water, visit 


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