Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 20 February, 1997
Written Answers. - Water Pipes.
Mr. Dempsey Mr. Dempsey
81. Mr. Dempsey asked the Minister for the Environment the reports, if any, he has received concerning water-carrying lead pipes in County Westmeath; the plans, if any, he has to replace such pipes for health considerations; the proposed  cost of such replacement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4769/97]
Minister for the Environment (Mr. Howlin) Brendan Howlin
Minister for the Environment (Mr. Howlin): The European Commission proposal to revise Directive 80/778/EEC on the quality of water intended for human consumption includes a provision to reduce the current maximum admissible concentration of lead in drinking water from 50µg/1 to 10µg/1 over a 15 year period. In view of this, my Department asked all local authorities concerned to carry out preliminary assessments of the likely implications of this more stringent standard. These preliminary assessments, which include a report from Westmeath County Council, will assist my Department in the ongoing negotiation of the proposed revision of Directive 80/778/EEC.
A definitive programme and financial estimate in relation to the proposed new requirements cannot be drawn up until (a) negotiation of the Commission's proposal is further advanced, and (b) greater clarification — the need for which is acknowledged by the European Commission — is available in relation to different methods for meeting the standards.
Dáil Éireann 475 Written Answers. Water Pipes.