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Image / Editorial

‘A precaution’: Boil water notice re-issued for 600,000 people


by Jennifer McShane
04th Nov 2019

Irish Water has reissued a Boil Water Notice for the area supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant 


A boil water notice has been reimposed for some 600,000 people in the greater Dublin area, less than a fortnight after the previous one was lifted.

Irish Water and Fingal County Council have advised the precaution was due to heavy rain and “turbidity”, or cloudy water due to suspended particles, in the source water for the Leixlip plant, which exceeded acceptable levels.

A second precaution

“Plant operators reacted quickly before alarms were activated and shut down the old plant to stop this water entering the network. There were no issues at the new plant, where the level of turbidity was managed by the newer technology on site,” they said in a statement on their website.

“It was essential to re-start production at the old plant, which produces 20 per cent of drinking water for Dublin, otherwise significant restrictions and outages would be inevitable. As Irish Water cannot guarantee the quality the water from the old plant, a boil water notice is now in place.”

As with the last Boil Water Notice, approximately 600,000 people are impacted but as before, Irish water says public health is their priority.

The areas impacted are the same as previously; parts of Fingal, areas in Dublin City Council, parts of South Dublin County Council, parts of Kildare and Dunboyne in Meath.

“The choice we were faced with was customers having a severely restricted water supply for a long period of time or having water for sanitation purposes such as showering and flushing of toilets. We were left with no option but to resume production at the old plant in the knowledge that a Boil Water Notice would then be necessary. We will work with Fingal County Council to get the Boil Water Notice lifted as soon as possible, subject to consultation with the EPA and HSE.”

“[We are] contacting all registered vulnerable customers who are affected by this Boil Water Notice to advise them.”

As a result, those in affected areas must boil water used for drinking, the preparation of salads, brushing teeth and making ice.

Irish Water has issued the following Boil Water Notice advice:

Water must be boiled for:

• Drinking

• Drinks made with water

• Preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating

• Brushing of teeth

• Making of ice – discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges. Make ice from cooled boiled water.

What actions should be taken:

• Use water prepared for drinking when preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing salads)

• Water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing and flushing of toilets but not for brushing teeth or gargling

• Boil water by bringing to a vigorous, rolling boil (e.g. with an automatic kettle) and allow to cool. Cover and store in a refrigerator or cold place. Water from the hot tap is not safe to drink. Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink

• Caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water

• Prepare infant feeds with water that has been brought to the boil once and cooled. Do not use water that has been re-boiled several times. If bottled water is used for the preparation of infant feeds it should be boiled once and cooled. If you are using bottled water for preparing baby food, be aware that some natural mineral water may have high sodium content.

The legal limit for sodium in drinking water is 200mg per litre. Check the label on the bottled water to make sure the sodium or `Na’ is not greater than 200mg per litre. If it is, then it is advisable to use a different type of bottled water. If no other water is available, then use this water for as short a time as possible.

Should customers have any queries regarding this Boil Water Notice they should contact Irish Water directly on the customer care helpline: 1850 278 278 or see more details on water.ie.


Main photograph: Unsplash

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