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Wednesday, 1st December 2021

Water containers in use in Mid Louth as Irish Water issues ‘Do Not Consume’ notices

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A map showing the areas affected by the ‘Do Not Consume’ notice which will impact some 3,995 consumers.

Areas affected include Castlebellingham, Dunleer, Annagassan and surrounding areas

Some 3,995 Irish Water customers in Mid Louth are currently reduced to collecting water in buckets and bottles from  tankers after the utility company issued a ‘Do Not Consume’ notice to protect the health of customers supplied by the Greenmount Public Water Supply following an issue with the treatment process at the plant.

Areas affected include Castlebellingham, Dunleer, Annagassan and surrounding areas. A map of the impacted area is attached and is also available on the Water Supply Updates section of water.ie.

Irish Water say the water is not safe for consumption or the preparation of foods, but is safe for hygiene and use in washing machines and dishwashers. They addded that it is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle fed infants. 

“Irish Water's primary focus is the protection of public health” a spokesperson said.

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“We would like to reassure our customers that Irish Water’s drinking water compliance and operational experts are working in partnership with Louth County Council to lift the ‘Do Not Consume’ notice as quickly and as safely as possible, in consultation and agreement with the HSE. The EPA have been notified”. 

“Please note this is not a Boil Water Notice. Boiling and cooling the water is not a suitable measure to make this water safe to consume. This notice does not apply to other areas or water schemes in Co Louth. Please view the attached map of the areas impacted.

“We are directly notifying and arranging bottled water for vulnerable customers who are registered on this supply in adherence with current HSE advice. We would ask vulnerable customers or those who have concerns about leaving their homes during the current pandemic to contact our customer care line, open 24/7, on 1800 278 278.

Alternative water supplies in the form of intermediate bulk containers (IBC) will be in place at the following locations from 4:00pm today until 8:00pm this evening and from 7:00am until 8:00pm on all subsequent days for which they are required. The IBCs may be offsite for short periods if refilling is required during the day; 

  • The Church Car Park, Kilsaran     
  • Public Car Park, Dunleer (Opposite Centra Shop) 

Customers are reminded to use their own containers when taking water from the tankers and to boil and cool the water before consumption as a precautionary measure. Customers should follow HSE and government COVID-19 advice in relation to social distancing and mask wearing when collecting water from tankers.

 Michael Cunniffe, Regional Operations Lead with Irish Water, said: “Irish Water acknowledges the impact of this notice on the local community and we would like to reassure impacted customers that our drinking water compliance and operational experts are working to resolve this issue as quickly and as safely as possible.

“We would ask customers who have concerns to contact our customer care team on 1800 278 278. The water is safe to use for handwashing and personal hygiene and all customers on this water supply scheme should continue to follow public health advice on handwashing at this time.” 

Water quality testing in a laboratory.

Public Health Advice: 

This water should NOT be used for:

  • Drinking
  • Drinks made with water
  • Food preparation, washing or cooking of food
  • Brushing teeth
  • Making ice
  • In particular, children under 12 months old should not drink this water.
  • This water should not be used for making up infant formula for bottled fed infants. An alternative source of water should be used. Bottled water can also be used to make up infant formula. All bottled water, with the exception of natural mineral water, is regulated to the same standard as drinking water. It is best not to use bottled water labelled as ‘Natural Mineral Water’ as it can have high levels of sodium (salt) and other minerals, although it rarely does. ‘Natural Mineral Water’ can be used if no other water is available, for as short a time as possible, as it is important to keep babies hydrated.
  • If bottled water is used to make up infant formula it should be boiled once (rolling boil for 1 minute), and cooled in the normal way.
  • Ready-to-use formula that does not need added water can also be used.
  • Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink.
  • Caution should be taken when bathing infants to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water.
  • Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges.
  • What can you use mains water for:
  • The water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils. 

Updates area available on the Water Supply Updates section of the Irish Water website, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278.

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