Galway Water Hit by Lead Poisoning

Article excerpt

Byline: John Fallon

GALWAY was yesterday rocked with a new water crisis ? with as many as 5,000 houses hit by the latest contamination scare.

City Council officials, councillors and health experts were last night trying to assess the latest crisis to hit the water supply after alarming levels of lead were discovered in some areas.

Last year up to 90,000 people went five months without being able to use tap water following an outbreak of cryptosporidium.

The latest crisis involves lead contamination which was picked up during routine tests.

The problem is centred around four Council areas of the city ? Claddagh, Shantalla, Bohermore and Old Mervue ? where pre-1970s houses have lead pipes.

The Mayor of Galway, Cllr, Padraig Conneely, called an emergency meeting of the City Council after HSE West officials confirmed there was a problem.

Routine tests of 20 houses in the four areas showed that 12 of them had alarming levels of lead in the water. Nine of the 12 householders were contacted prior to yesterday evening?s meeting with the remaining three to be informed last night.

Unlike the outbreak of cryp-tosporidium, nobody has reported being ill from drinking the water.

?At this stage we need to establish the extent of the problem, find out what needs to be done to resolve it and establish what precautions should be taken until this is done,? …