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Written Answers - Water Services

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 188.  Deputy Tom Fleming Information on Tom Fleming Zoom on Tom Fleming  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  his policy regarding lead piping for public water supply; and if he is satisfied that these pipes are non-health hazardous. [3252/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan The European Communities (Drinking Water) (No. 2) Regulations, 2007 designate water services authorities (the 34 county and city councils) as the authorities which are primarily responsible for public water distribution systems including the maintenance of pipes under their control and ownership. The Regulations stipulate that all appropriate measures must be taken to reduce the concentration of lead in water intended for human consumption as much as possible during the period needed to achieve compliance with the parametric value for lead. The current limit for lead in drinking water is 25ug/l and this value reduces to 10ug/l from 25 December 2013.

The 2007 Regulations provide that the EPA is the supervisory authority for drinking water supplied by water services authorities. Guidance Notes published by the EPA in April 2009 advises water services authorities to develop and implement a planned annual programme for the replacement of lead communication and service pipes causing or likely to cause exceedances in the 2013 lead limit, using a risk-based approach.

My Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012, a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas Library, provides funding for works by water services authorities for water conservation. Local authorities can seek funding for the replacement of lead water distribution mains under this programme and, in certain circumstances, the Department also allows for the funding of certain works that encroach onto private property from the public side in the decommissioning of common backyard services for water conservation purposes.

Question No. 189 answered with Question No. 160.

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