No funds for softeners to solve hard water problems in Clonmel

Eamonn Wynne


Eamonn Wynne


Clonmel hard water problems

Appliances such as washing machines have to be replaced regularly by Clonmel residents affected by a hard water supply.

There are no plans to introduce any scheme of financial support for the installation of water softeners in homes affected by a hard water supply, including those on the northern side of Clonmel.

This news was relayed to a meeting of Clonmel Borough District in correspondence from Niamh Murphy, private secretary to Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government.

Hard water has been a problem in homes on the northern side of the town for many years now, with residents regularly required to replace electrical appliances including washing machines, kettles and showers.   

Cllr. Michael Murphy proposed that, in view of this announcement, the council should now write to the Department of Social Protection, and make a good case for those on low incomes to be prioritised for some form of payment.

They should request an exceptional needs payment for householders to replace appliances such as washing machines.

It should be pointed out to the Department that hard water was causing these problems in the first place and that this payment would be a preventative measure, he suggested.

The letter from the Department of Housing also stated that "under the European Union (Drinking Water) Regulations 2014, suppliers of drinking water were required to ensure that the water supplied was wholesome and clean. 

“Water which is wholesome and clean is defined as water which is free from any micro-organisms and parasites and from any substances which, in numbers or concentrations, constitute a potential danger to human health.

"Wholesome and clean water must also meet the quality standards specified in the schedule to the regulations.

"Hard water is not included as a parameter in the quality standard tables included in the schedule to the regulations as neither it, nor associated substances such as lime, calcium and magnesium, pose a threat to human health".

Meanwhile, another letter relating to hard water, sent by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, incurred the wrath of Cllr. Pat English.

This letter stated that concerns raised about hard water were relevant to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and had been passed on to Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Cllr. English said he was baffled by this reply, which he said was just a standard one-liner.

Hard water was an ongoing issue on the northern side of Clonmel  and the quantity of lime in the supply was "ridiculous".

"It needs serious looking into", he added.