Monday 11 December 2017

Water in flats has the same bacteria found in sewage

ALARMING levels of bacteria are contaminating the sinks and baths of a Dublin flat complex.

The level of water contamination at Dolphin House flats in Dolphin's Barn is similar to that found in sewage.

The distressing finding will be detailed in a report published tomorrow concerning the terrible conditions in which residents live.

Tests on water coming through plugholes and sinks carried out by a team of independent consultants reveal faecal coliform levels 570 million times higher than the safe level for drinking water.

Such high levels of these bacteria could pose a serious health hazard to those who come in contact with the water, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases such as gastroenteritis.

The concentration of faecal coliforms found in the research carried out by Tobin Consulting Engineers is more than 285,000 times the safe levels for bathing water at beaches and lakes.

Minister of State for Equality, Integration and Human Rights Mary White, President of the Irish Human Rights Commission Dr Maurice Manning and Dublin city manager Martin Kavanagh will attend a meeting tomorrow regarding these findings.

They will assess living conditions at the Dolphin House flats in light of the full monitoring report which was commissioned by Barnardos on behalf of campaigning group Rialto Rights in Action.

The residents' group has been battling for better living conditions at the Dublin complex and hopes to have the flats regenerated.

A "human rights hearing" was held by Dolphin House residents last May to discuss the problems they face at the 1950s estate, which not only include sewage issues but also damp and mould.

RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy chaired the pivotal meeting aimed at solving the accommodation crisis at Dolphin House

The Liveline presenter joined a panel of experts who revealed that the State is breaching the UN convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights by allowing citizens to live in poor conditions.

There are 436 housing units in the development at Dolphin House, and three out of four residents' homes are affected with damp.

Four out of five have experienced sewage coming up through their sinks and baths, while a staggering nine out of 10 have suffered health problems including asthma.

Dr Manning, who took part in this initial meeting, criticised Dublin City Council at the time for failing to provide satisfactory accommodation.

"That convention says there is a right to adequate housing," he said at the human rights hearing.


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