Public urged to report water discoloration problems with Irish Water

People who have problems with water discoloration should log it on the Irish Water website, services director Bernie Woods said at the Louth Council’s monthly meeting.

He explained that a problem with magnesium levels in Dundalk’s drinking water supply is discoloring the water coming from taps in many parts of the city and surrounding areas.

Many councilors raised the problem of changing the color of the water.

Clerk Mew Youre said that while the flushing was going on, the householders were concerned about the safety of the water.

Cllr Pearse McGeough said local Sinn Fein TD Ruairi O Murchu had organized a spectacular meeting with representatives from Irish Water, which indicated that the Greenmount project would be completed by 2025, yet reports prior to the meeting in 2026 Was said. He had asked for clarification as to who was right.

Clerk John Reilly wondered whether there was a problem with the Cavan Hill treatment plant, stating that he was receiving a lot of questions from residents of Newtownbelarigan, Ard Ismuin, The Back of the Wall, and Jawfield.

He recalled that years ago, the city used to get water from Anavarna and wondered if it was still there.

Clerk John Sheridan recalled that he raised the issue of the color of the water. Flushing is not being done all year round and they thought that was the problem.

Now it is being done five days a week till mid-July.

The water color was getting worse even in the end areas of the network but it was a problem throughout the network. He thought it was going to be an issue by September, recalling that it happened last summer as well.

“It is absolutely predictable and inevitable that this is going to happen,” he expressed his disappointment that it was a problem again this year.

Ms. Woods explained that the level of magnesium in the water was at the root of the problem as it was causing the water to discolor.

She said Irish Water is currently cleaning the fourth and final reservoir at Cavan Hill.

The problem was greater during the summer months when the weather is hot and this is why the flushing program was being carried out now and in areas with the highest levels of magnesium.

The Council is in constant discussion with Irish Water on this issue. The local authority will retrofit the plant next week which will allow for a more practical approach.

In response to a question from Cler McGaugh regarding the Greenmount plant, he said it would most likely be 2026 before the work was completed.

Clerk Kevin Meenon recalled that he had a similar discussion about water supply last year and didn’t think he’d talk about it again.

It was not just discoloration but the color of the water flying off. “If you put it in a thin orange, its head will be like a pint of Guinness!’

He said that he has no faith in water and only drinks bottled water.

“I want Irish Water to come to a meeting and tell us what’s going on.”

Cllr Edel Corrigan supported the proposal, saying Irish Water should also explain the testing and maintenance carried out to ensure water quality and safety.

The test, she said, is “only a snapshot in time” and she was concerned about the quality of the water when the flushing was being done.

Cler John Reilly noted that he had not received an answer to his question about the reservoir at Anawerna, which he felt could be used to supply parts of North-Louth that have no main water.

He knew that in the 1970s, water from a reservoir for two breweries was sent to the city.

Ms Woods said she was not 100 percent sure whether that reservoir was still in use, while chief executive Joan Martin said that as far as she knows the water goes to distilleries in the city, but the city’s No water supply.