Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has said the boil water controversy that affected over 600,000 people continues to raise serious questions about its cause, and Irish Water and Fingal County Council’s responsibility.

The Sinn Féin TD was responding to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Drinking Water October Audit report on the Leixlip plant, which was the source of the controversy.

The boil water notice impacted on the biggest amount of people in the State and basic recommendations from earlier difficulties don’t appear to have been carried out by Irish Water and Fingal County Council.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“According to the latest EPA audit on the Leixlip plant, conducted after the Boil Water notice was issued, the primary cause of the failure at the plant was a silt blockage in one of the treatment processes.

“The failure of Irish Water and Fingal County Council to implement the recommendations of a previous EPA audit in the plant is supposedly a contributory factor in the latest failure in the plant.  This raises serious questions about the overall audit process and the failure to comply with its recommendations.

“The big question following this report is around who is responsible for this failure, is it Irish Water or Fingal County Council or both?

“Or was this unprecedented boil water notice down to the simple failure to implement the recommendations due to a lack of funding and resources or just down to neglect.”

Crowe continued:

“There are also serious questions to answer regarding how the boil water notice was communicated, because it left many people in the dark and unsure if their homes were affected.

“The boil notice was issued late on a Tuesday evening. News reports were telling people to go to Irish Water’s website for information, but the website clearly crashed and was then off line for the night.

“We were informed that parts of South Dublin County Council were included in the boil water notice but that limited information was useless as it was very hard to find out what specific areas it related to.

“Irish Water must learn lessons from this incident and improve how it communicates with citizens potentially affected by their boil water notices.”