Donegal water staff to receive refresher training

STAFF working in Donegal’s water services will receive refresher training following incidents elsewhere in the country where contaminated water entered the public drinking supply causing dozens to fall ill.

Irish Water confirmed to the Donegal News that staff will receive the training within the next two weeks while all water treatment plants in the county will be audited “in due course”.

More than 50 people in Gorey, County Wexford fell ill and some were hospitalised after drinking contaminated water that came from the local treatment plant, while a plant in Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare produced unsafe water for ten hours last month.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in both cases those affected were left unaware of the risks they faced and did not have the opportunity to protect themselves. The EPA said these incidents highlight an “abject failure of managerial oversight, operational control and responsiveness by Irish Water and Local


Authorities in terms of their respective roles to deliver safe and secure drinking water.”

On the back of this Irish Water has moved to take a number of actions across all 31 local authorities including Donegal.
“Following the incidents identified in Gorey and Ballymore Eustace, we are currently engaging with all 31 Local Authorities on the need to report incidents to allow for timely risk assessments to protect public health. A number of specific actions will be carried out over the next two weeks which will include refresher training for all water services teams in every Local Authority and a site-specific review of the top 20 water treatment plants nationally,” said the spokesperson.

“Where appropriate, Irish Water will also assign personnel to sites. As part of the Drinking Water Safety Plan approach, Irish Water will audit all water treatment plants in due course.”

The spokesperson added: “Irish Water delivers clean drinking water to more than 3.3 million people across the country every day. The protection of public health is a priority for Irish Water and 99.9% of the water we produce meets or exceeds the required standards and is safe to drink. That includes customers supplied by public drinking water supplies in Co Donegal.”

Customers can check the quality of their local water supply on the Irish Water website at

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