Limerick County Council has confirmed, following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), that drinking water restrictions have been lifted in areas affected by an oil pollution incident in West Limerick.
The Council said no further interruptions or restrictions to drinking water supplies are planned for Foynes, Shanagolden, Askeaton, Morgans, Barrigone, Kildimo, Pallaskenry, Creeves, Ballysteen, Castletown, Kilcornan.
Approximately 1,500 households were affected by water supply shut-offs on 19 January last after a significant volume of oil entered a tributary of the River Deel. Throughout the restrictions, Limerick County Council continued to provide water to the public by tankering and other means.
Paul Crowe, Director of Services, Limerick County Council said: “Limerick County Council acknowledges the patience, understanding and co-operation of the people of the affected areas through what has been a most difficult time for all concerned.”
He explained: “Throughout the incident, the protection of public health was of paramount importance for Limerick County Council. The Council maintained close contact with both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the HSE in their respective roles as the regulatory authority and health advisory authority.”
Mr. Crowe noted that there has been an extensive clean-up at the source of the pollution and on the river by specialist contractors and Council Staff.
He added: “Intensive water quality monitoring has taken place during the course of this incident at the river, the Shannon Estuary Area Water Treatment Plant, the reservoir and distribution mains, and at customer’s taps. Rigorous testing on water samples was undertaken by Limerick County Council laboratories, and specialist private laboratories in both Cork and the UK. The Health Service Executive also undertook confirmatory sampling and analysis using their facilities.”
“Following further consultation with the HSE and review and evaluation of all specialist monitoring data, Limerick County Council is pleased to announce that all restrictions on the water supply can now be lifted and consumers may safely use water as normal”, Mr. Crowe concluded.