Irish Water’s €160,000 bill for providing drinking water after aluminium levels in Achill rose five times above safe levels

Irish Water had to spend €160,000 on providing water in Achill Island after aluminium levels skyrocketed to five times recommended levels.

Records released by the water utility reveal how at one stage aluminium levels in the water rose above 1,000 micrograms per litre … when the recommended maximum safe amount in drinking water is 200 micrograms.

Irish Water said they had contracted a third party supplier to provide tankered water on the Co Mayo island during the peak tourist season.

The total cost of this over the 28-day period of the water warning came to €160,000, or the equivalent of more than €5,700 daily.

Internal records reveal that pressure on water supply in the area was such that pumping water into tankers for Achill threatened to cause shortages in the Westport and Castlebar area.

The problems were being compounded by frequent bursts on the mains water pipe on Achill whenever the raw water supply was switched off.

As a result, Irish Water laid a new pipe on the island to help deliver a continuous supply of water to the Achill water treatment plant.

The internal records – which were released following a request under Access to Information on the Environment Regulations – show how the plant reached capacity with rising water temperatures on 7 August.

An email said: “The plant cannot cope with demand and there’s a serious problem with water quality.”