Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says there is an urgent need for the water treatment at Lough Talt to be upgraded following another cryptosporidium outbreak in the water supply.  More than 13,000 homes are affected by a boil water notice, which has been issued following the detection of the microscopic parasite in the water.

Deputy Scandal explained, “The work needed on the water treatment plant at Lough Talt needs to be carried out as a matter of urgency.  I have been raising this issue for some time, and this latest boil water notice must act as a catalyst to progress the works.  Irish Water has identified the need for essential upgrade works but An Bord Pleanála has ruled against them.

“There have been issues with water quality in the south Sligo area for years but Irish Water and the County Council have been unable to proceed with a new treatment plant or even upgrade works because of the Bord Pleanála objection.  Thousands of homes in Ballymote, Ballisodare, Tubbercurry and in rural parts of south Sligo now have to boil their water following the detection of cryptosporidium in water supply.

“People living in this area have a right to a safe, secure water supply, but in order to guarantee that, we need to see either a new treatment plant built, or at a minimum, upgrade works on the existing plant carried out.  The current plant is simply unable to cope with the demands being placed on it.

“I know that An Bord Pleanála have highlighted conservation concerns, but the health of thousands of people is being put at risk if nothing is done to upgrade the Lough Talt treatment plant.  It is unacceptable to expect people to have to boil their water all of the time.  We have the infrastructure available to rectify the problem, we just need to be allowed to proceed with the works.

“This situation cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely – I am calling on the County Council, Irish Water and An Bord Pleanála to come together to look at what options could be explored to allow these essential upgrade works to proceed”.