Parasite threat to health of South Sligo public water users

Council triggers boil water alert.

Sligo News File.

Cryptosporidium is back in South Sligo’s public water supply. The parasite has seemingly either managed to dodge the extensive sampling and scouring works carried out under the direction of Irish Water less than a year ago or has newly arrived from some outside source.

A species of Cryptosporidium

In any event, its unwelcome presence is affecting a swathe of areas serviced by the Lough Talt and Ogham schemes.

Places named on Sligo County Council’s website include Curry, Killoran, Carrowcushely, Glenn-Kinnagrelly, Carrownacarrick, Kilmacteige, Bellahy, Achonry, Talt-Castleoye Trunk, Aclare, Tobercurry, Kesh, Achonry-Ballymote Trunk, Moylough, Templehouse, Ballymote, Muckelty, Rockfield, Annagh, Oldrock, Cloonacool, Quaryfield, Banada, Killavel, Branchfield-Collooney and, in Mayo, Cloontia, Quarryfield and Doocastle.

People taking their drinking supply from the schemes are being warned to boil the water.

The parasite is a nasty affair that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. Symptoms include watery diarrhoea, dehydration, lack of appetite, stomach cramps or pain, fever, nausea, vomiting.

As the parasite is protected by an outer shell it very tolerant to chlorine disinfection. It is especially dangerous for young children, immunocompromised individuals and the elderly.

Anyone suffering from diarrhoea for more than two days should contact their general practitioner, says the council.

So, what has happened that last year’s scouring of the waters has failed to prevent the parasite showing up 11 months later? Is it of human or animal origin? The council’s website does not provide the answers.

Lough Talt ….home to State guarded white-clawed crayfish.

Councillors are heard to be complaining, with one even saying planning permission must be pursued for the provision of a new plant. All well and good, of course, but isn’t there some problem to do with the site of an EU protected snail population in the vicinity of the Talt?

Between the snails and the parasite then, it looks that the entire region of householders and businesses will have to suffer on yet again.

Not good enough by any measure.

What can be expected, however, is that TD’s will now come under pressure to have government get off their arses and finally deal with the ridiculous long-time danger to public health in the region.

People are advised to look up the county council website for more information surrounding the boil notices and the measures those reliant on the Talt and Ogham water schemes are being urged to observe.