Concern over an unusual substance at Owenmore River in Glangevlin, Co Cavan went on to bring about a debate over the state of drinking water in South Leitrim at the September Leitrim County Council meeting.
Independent Councillor Gerry Dolan called on Leitrim County Council to carry out a survey of the River Shannon where it enters Lough Allen at Deadmans Point to the Owenmore River at Glangevlin, Co. Cavan to establish the level of industrial chemicals present in the river bed and the possible impact, if any, on the South Leitrim Water Scheme.”
Cllr Dolan said there is “white stuff” flowing into the Shannon, he said it could be “chemicals” and asked that it be checked out “to give peace of mind.” But Fine Gael Cllr Gerry Reynolds said he found the motion “disquieting.” He said Leitrim County Council test the quality of drinking water regularly and he would be amazed that any drilling from the 1980s would be putting harmful substances into the Shannon - where the majority of drinking water is sourced. He accused Cllr Dolan of scaring people. Cllr Dolan said there was “fracking” in that area in 2001 and “it could take ten years for the damage to be seen.”
The Council told Cllr Dolan, “Regular testing of raw water for abstraction and drinking water in the supply system is undertaken by Leitrim County Council. Testing in regard to the South Leitrim Water Supply Scheme have shown compliance with the required standards. The issue in the motion refers to a location in County Cavan and will be referred to the Local Authority concerned for investigation.”
Director of Services John McGuinness said “water is tested before and after treatment and there are no heavy metals present.” He said there was “no problem” with the drinking water from the Shannon and it was “compliant” with all regulations.