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Criticism over 'no information' despite contaminated water in Co Wexford

A Wexford-based mother, who contacted Irish Water several times about discoloured water, says no ...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.24 20 Sep 2021


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Criticism over 'no information...

Criticism over 'no information' despite contaminated water in Co Wexford

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.24 20 Sep 2021


Share this article


A Wexford-based mother, who contacted Irish Water several times about discoloured water, says no information was forthcoming from them.

Some 800 water treatment plants are to be audited after unsafe drinking water entered the supply last month.

The audit began on Monday, with the 20 largest treatment plants being prioritised.

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There were two serious incidents at drinking water plants serving parts of Dublin city - served by the Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant - and Gorey, Co Wexford.

In Gorey, 52 people became ill after drinking contaminated water that came from the plant, while the plant in Ballymore Eustace produced unsafe water for 10 hours one day last month.

Paula Mongey and her family were impacted by the water contamination in Gorey.

She told The Hard Shoulder it was very difficult to spot the contaminated water.

"We first noticed there was something off with the water on the 22nd of August and contacted Irish Water straight away.

"When I was filling up a bath for my kids that evening, I noticed the water in the bath looked a little bit yellow.

"When you were running through the tap, when it was free-flowing, it didn't look any different than it did any other day.

"It wasn't until we filled up the bath, and you could see it against the white bath, that you could tell there was something off.

"There was no different smell off it, no different taste off it, nothing like that."

She says Irish Water asked her a series of questions, and told her to run the water for 20 minutes to try and clear it.

"The next day I phoned them again for an update, and I was told to check their website - there was no information updated on the website.

"I phoned again on the 24th - again told the updates would be on the website - nothing updated on the website.

"I had started to feel a little bit unwell at that stage, but my two kids were suffering at that stage with diarrhoea and cramps.

"He was really not in a good way - he didn't end up in hospital or anything like that, but he was really bad with his tummy.

"And it was the week of his birthday as well, so we all felt very sorry for him".

'Issue had been resolved'

And Paula says Irish Water told her the issue had been resolved.

"The back and forth with Irish Water between then and now actually, even up to quite recently.

"They sent me an automated text message on the 1st of September to say that the issue had been resolved.

"Then updated their own website on the 2nd of September to say that there may have been an issue and it's been resolved."

Paula says she was then told she would have to contact another department for information.

"On the 3rd, I phoned them up again... to say 'We've been drinking bottled water, is the water safe to drink or isn't it?'

"And I was told that they didn't have that information to hand, and I'd have to email Operations to find out."

She says an engineer was sent out on September 5th, and she was told the water is now safe to drink.

To this, she says: "I'm not taking any chances; the water may be fine, but it's the lack of information and the fact that nobody was forthcoming with any sort of information.

"At the very least what should have happened there was a boil water notice should have been issued.

"We haven't drank the water since the 22nd of August, and I don't think I will be anytime soon".

Criticism over 'no information' despite contaminated water in Co Wexford

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image: A drinking glass is filled with tap water in August 2019. Picture by: Patrick Pleul/DPA/PA Images

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Ballymore Eustace Contaminated Water Dublin City Gorey Irish Water Paula Mongey Water Treatment Water Treatment Plant Wexford

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