Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has criticised Irish Water over the boil water notice issued to 600,000 homes in the Greater Dublin Area and said days later huge questions remain around the controversy.
Deputy Crowe said:
“People across Dublin are very concerned about the boil water notice and Irish Water has not provided answers. This is not simply an inconvenience but a matter of health and Irish Water’s communication to date has been poor.
“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.
“Later on a map was published on their twitter account but accessing information like this is not easy for people who are not technologically literate. This can include vulnerable older citizens who are at high risk if they pick up an illness.
“This is the single biggest boil water notice ever issued in this state. It is simply farcical that days later, it is still not clear what exactly what happened.
“What we do know is that an EPA report on the same plant published in March of this year found serious operational failures that could have led to the latest contamination.
“That report issued eight recommendations and stipulated that Irish Water should submit a report to the agency‘within one month of the date of this audit report detailing how it has dealt with the issues of concern identified during this audit.’
“We need to know if the most recent incident is in anyway related or if it is a repetition of what occurred in March. Did Irish Water respond to the EPA report and did it implement its recommendations? Crucially we need to know if the plant at Leixlip, and its private contract, is fit for purpose, reliable and has the ability to protect our water?
“It is not acceptable to keep families in the dark. They need real time information and answers. They need to know if their water is safe to drink and use.
“Irish Water must also learn lessons from this incident and improve how it communicates with citizens potentially affected by their boil water notices.”