180,000 Irish homes may have lead pipes which damage health, Irish Water reveal

Published by Marie-Amélie Brun on

27th of July, 2016

Irish Water revealed today that some 180,000 Irish homes are believed to have lead pipes which could damage your health.

Irish water announced plans to control lead contamination in Ireland. By 2026 they want to have replaced lead pipes in the 180,000 homes suspected of having lead piping.

In the document “Lead in Water Mitigation Plan”, they explain the risks for house built before 1980. This has raised concerns around health issues particularly for young children, infants and babies in the womb, as lead has been linked to brain development problems of children.

It will cost 370 millions euro to replace the pipes lines to the company. They will be taking care of public buildings when homeowner will be in charge of replacing their lead pipework, an expensive work that will take several years to complete.
In the mean time Irish water plans to treat water thanks to orthophosphoric acid, which will cost 78 millions.

The decision to add orthophosphoric acid to the water has already been greatly criticised in Limerick where people expressed their concern about the safety of such product in water. Irish Water have claimed that the chemical has no impact on health as orthophosphoric acid is commonly used in food.

Sinn Fein councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh reacted to the news:

“The people of Limerick want lead removed from the water supply, not for Orthophosphate to be introduced in its place. Irish Water are putting a plaster onto a broken limb, this is just a quick fix which could create more problems than it solves. The people of Limerick want and deserve clean water coming from their taps, and for this water to be free,”

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Marie-Amélie Brun

Marie-Amélie is a contributor to the Green News. She is currently completing a Masters in International Cooperation and Multilingual Communication at the University Grenoble Alpes.