Water disaster | 

Concerns raised after water supply in Kildare village is contaminated with arsenic

It has been reported that as many as 60 families have been affected

The water has been declared unsafe to drink (FILE PHOTO)

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

There have been calls for water tankers to be deployed in Kilteel, Co Kildare after the local water supply used by a group of residents was contaminated with arsenic.

It has been reported that as many as 60 families have been affected and while they can use the water for washing and in toilets, it cannot be consumed as it is highly toxic.

The Leinster Leader has reported that, according to an account of a meeting of Naas Municipal District, the arsenic in the supply is nearly seven times the safe limit.

And a council representative said that because the affected water supply is operated by a private group water scheme, primary responsibility rests with the local trustees of the scheme.

“In the interest of public health, the council issued a ‘do not consume notice ‘to all users of this supply prohibiting, until further notice, the use of this water for either drinking purposes or for the preparation of food,” the representative has been quoted as saying.

“Initial assessments suggest that finding a solution in the short term is likely to be challenging.

“In the interim, the council will not be providing tankers as supplies from this source must also be boiled before consumption in accordance with drinking water regulations.”

Local councillor Fintan Brett has called on the authorities to deploy water tankers to provide a safe and accessible supply for local families.

“The water is fine for some use but for not drinking and you could have a situation where it snows heavily as it did a few years ago and no water would be available.

“At that time this community was snowed in,” said Cllr Brett.

He added: “I understand that the contamination is well above the safe limits and I’ll be calling on Irish Water and Kildare County Council to step up to the plate and find an immediate and long term solution.”

According to Irish Water it has no responsibility for private group water schemes.

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