Ireland’s water- Filtering the Filth

Since the storms hit this Winter, a lot of different areas in Ireland have been hit with a boil notice. People are pretty peeved and out of pocket with purchasing water at a premium. The alternative is boiling the kettle to provide enough drinking water and additional water for food preparation and even brushing your teeth.

It’s not been a good time for Irish water, not only are we paying for it and being obligated to drink Fluoridated water, recent reports from the Irish Times suggest approximately 400,000 people have a water supply over the recommended safe limit for trihalomethanes which will:

  • Increase the risk of certain cancers
  • Increase the likelihood of miscarriage in the first trimester.
  •  Decrease birth weight in the second and third trimester.

So what are your options?

You could buy bottled water but it is expensive and most of us don’t envisage leaving a world like this for our kids.



You could get a water filter. Although the initial layout could cost a few hundred euro, buying the right one could leave you minimal costs for clean water year round.

The three main concerns I have with Irish water(or should I say Ireland’s water) at present are:

  1. Cryptosporidium-A bug that has affected Galway water in the past, its now left residents of Loughrea on a boil notice till the Summer.
  2. Trihalomethanes– When chlorine is added to the water supply, it not only cleans the water, it also combines with organic rotting matter or sewage to form a new compound called Trihalomethanes.
  3. Fluoride: Yes, sodium fluoride is good for your teeth and fluoridated toothpastes are effective in reducing dental caries but adding it to the water is still mandatory mass medication.

 Reports on the health impact of Fluoridated water are mixed. One controversy talks about the effect of Fluoridated water on the thyroid and while excess fluoride will affect the thyroid, no research as of yet shows that effect on the current fluoride levels of 0.8mg per litre. You could buy a nice fancy bottle of Pellegrino and be exposed to similar amounts of Fluoride.

Tooth decay will always be an issue for those who choose acidic sugary soft drinks and sweets as part of their daily diet.The take home message, if you are brushing your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste and taking it easy on sweets and soft drinks, fluoridated water is unnecessary. As Government policy on fluoridation hasn’t changed in 50 years, even though several county councils have tried to opt out of fluoridation, the decision remains a national one. I am tired of waiting on government action, we have to rely on filters for now should we wish to remove it.

Reverse Osmosis Filters

My choice, would be to go with this filter. Although the initial layout is 300euro, this includes installation and a remineralisation filter which claims to put back the calcium and magnesium in the water. I haven’t seen any studies showing the efficacy of remineralisation filters, although PH tests seem to show the water is more alkaline.This indicates the carbonate is being returned with a question mark hanging over the beneficial minerals.

While it would be ideal to have a water filter that left the valuable minerals in place, any filter that seems to leave the goodies untouched, also filters out less of the baddies. The priority, in my opinion is to take out the lead and the fluoride and all those other weird unpronouncable compounds…If some minerals are lost in the process, its a worthwhile trade off.

Reverse Osmosis filters remove:

  • 100% Cryptosporidium
  • 80%+ Trihalomethanes
  • 90%+  Fluoride
  • 95% + Lead

Plus many more.


The choice remains yours.



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