Louth County Council say they will raise the possibility of the provision of a water tanker for residents in Tallanstown, but add that such a move would only add an extra burden on people in the village.
The local authority, along with Irish Water, first issued a Boil Water notice for the area way back in July last year and that has not been lifted since, with 600 customers in the village who are served by the Tallanstown Public Water Supply, still under the notice, down from an initial estimate of 2,000.
A number of techniques and proposed solutions have been mooted to fix the problem once and for all – the latest being ice-pigging which has been carried out on the watermains in the area throughout January – but as of yet, the Boil Water Request remains in place.
Both Cllr Erin McGreehan, speaking on behalf of Fianna Fáil colleague John Sheridan, and Ardee Cllr Dolores Minogue requested at Monday’s meeting of Louth County Council that a water tanker be provided in the village.
But while that request was not totally shot down, the councillors were told such a move would not provide any respite from the process for locals in mid-Louth.
“A water tanker has been requested for residents. Irish Water have denied this. As a matter of courtesy, as a gesture of goodwill, could a water tanker be provided for the area?,” Cllr McGreehan asked.
Following on that point, Ardee Municipal District councillor Minogue said, “At this stage, we’re now seven months into a Boil Water Notice in Tallanstown. There has to be collaboration between both (Council and Irish Water) and water tankers be put in place in Tallanstown.
“Every couple of weeks we get an update to say ‘we’re doing this, we’re doing that’ but we’re seven months hearing that. 600 people are without water and at this stage we should have a water tanker there.”
However, Louth County Council’s Bernie Woods said that water tankers – whether providing by the local authority or Irish Water, would not solve the problem at hand.
“When you have water tankers, you still have to boil water. It’s the same thing as taking it from the tap and boiling it. It’s the exact same thing. You’re only going to put an extra burden on people to get water from the tankers,” she said.
“Maybe it’s mind over matter, but when coloured water comes out of a tap, you’re not going to boil it,” Cllr Minogue argued.
In response, Bernie Woods, Head of Finance and Water Services, replied; “Let the tap run for a while. Run it for a few minutes, it will run clear again and then boil that water. “I will raise the issue about water tankers but people must be aware if you get water from tankers, you must boil it again.”
The stance is what residents and businesses across North Dublin, Kildare and Meath were told late last year when they requested water tankers be provided to help alleviate the crisis that they would themselves in due to a longstanding Boil Water Notice.
“I appreciate Irish Water are doing everything to solve this problem, “Cllr Minogue said. “After seven months, we need to step up. If it doesn’t work…but at least try it.”
Irish Water say that ice-pigging, a technique were an ice slush is pumped into a water main and forced along the inside to clean the pipe by removing sediment and other unwanted deposits, was completed last week. This was followed by watermain flushing to remove any further sediment from the pipes.
The company say that adequate chlorine levels are being maintained consistently at all locations with the exception of the specific section of the network where ice-pigging is required.
“The recent programme of ice-pigging should help maintain adequate levels of chlorine in the watermain. Monitoring is being carried out to verify adequate chlorine can be maintained within this section of the network,’ Irish Water say.
‘Irish Water’s drinking water and operational experts will continue to work with Louth County Council on the issue and will consult with the Health Service Executive to lift the Boil Water Notice for those remaining on the notice as quickly and as safely as possible.’