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Irish Water donates water treatment units to Ukraine

Irish Water is donating water treatment units to Ukraine to ensure access to safe drinking water

Minister Darragh O’Brien and Irish Water announced (1 June) it is sending two containerised water treatment plants (WTPs) to Ukraine in response to urgent calls for support to provide clean water in the war-torn region. Irish Water is in a position to provide two of these mobile WTPs which will be transported to Lviv to immediately provide fresh drinking water for those most in need. An estimated 1.4 million people have no access to safe running water across Eastern Ukraine alone, according to a recent report from UNICEF. There are also fears that improper burials in parks, gardens, and public areas, could lead to contaminated drinking water.

The self-contained units are capable of treating up to 40,000 litres per hour each, which will supply 6,200 people with the equivalent of 1.6 million one litre bottles of clean water per day. Both units contain filters, backwash pumps, UV reactors and all necessary pipework and equipment to enable the self-contained water solutions to be operational very quickly when placed in situ. To aid set-up on arrival, contact details are included within the units in English and Ukrainian to enable online support for any commissioning and operating queries which will be provided at no cost by Coffey in Galway. Videos detailing how to operate the WTPs have also been recorded in Ukrainian and made available online.

According to Niall Gleeson, Irish Water Chief Executive Officer, “Access to safe water is a fundamental human need, and we can often take for granted given our access to fresh and safe water here in Ireland. We know that the situation in Ukraine has resulted in water supply being disrupted entirely or severely polluted, meaning it is unsafe for drinking.  We hope our donation of these two units will play a role to help some of the people suffering in Ukraine access safe water.”

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien T.D., welcomed the initiative; “I want to highly commend Irish Water for providing these much needed water treatment units to Ukraine. This exemplifies the many ways Ireland, through its people and its state agencies, is showing its solidarity with the people of Ukraine in their time of need.  This donation demonstrates collaborative approaches to providing practical and important solutions to support the Ukrainian people.  These water units will benefit thousands who are struggling to source fresh, safe drinking water.” 

Her Excellency Ms Larysa Gerasko, Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland expressed her gratitude for the donation. “From across Ireland there has been so much support shown to our people and country.  A basic right to clean water has been destroyed by Russia in a lot of regions and this donation will be essential to sustain those who are currently in absolute need.  We thank everyone involved for their work and effort to get these vital water units to my homeland.”

Tony Keohane, Chairman of the Ervia Group, commented; “The decision to donate these mobile water treatment units was taken in response to the overwhelming need of the people of Ukraine at this time. Like everyone else in Ireland we have been shocked to witness the suffering inflicted on the civilian population over the past months, and wish to show our support in any way we can. These units will provide clean drinking water where it is needed most to support the people of Ukraine, representing a further contribution from Ireland to this humanitarian crisis.”

In Ireland, nine similar containerised WTPs have been successfully deployed since 2017, resulting in the lifting of three boil water notices and six sites removed from the EPA’s Remedial Action List. While donating two units to Ukrainian authorities, Irish Water has also retained a third WTP on standby in case of an emergency water quality incident in Ireland. The Irish Water containerised WTP stock will also be replenished in the coming months.

The containerised water treatment units, which were built by Coffey on behalf of Irish Water, will be shipped to Ukraine today.

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