Achill businesses and residents reminded to continuing boiling water before use while essential upgrade works take place at treatment plant
Irish Water and Mayo County Council would like to remind customers supplied by the Achill Pubic Water Supply, including group water schemes, that the boil water notice issued on the supply on February 1 2021 to accommodate the next phase of the planned works at the Achill Water Treatment Plant is still in place. Routine monitoring has found the presence of cryptosporidium in the supply so it is vitally important that the water is boiled before use.
The water treatment plant is currently being upgraded and the treatment processes remain offline. Works are on target for completion before the end of March 2021.
Approximately 2,800 customers on the island and the adjacent mainland who are supplied by the Achill Public Water Supply must boil their water before drinking and preparing food. There is no need for customers to buy bottled water. Once tap water is boiled and cooled it will be safe for consumption. The water is safe for all other applications including personal hygiene, bathing and flushing of toilets.
The following are the Group Water Schemes served by the Achill Public Water Supply Scheme: Dooniver, Saulia No 2, Crumpaun; Dooega; Shraheens, Achill; Dugort No 1, Dugort No. 2, Valley 1, and Valley 3, Bleanaskil No 1 and Ards Curraun.
Irish Water and Mayo County Council working in partnership with EPS are upgrading the filtration and clarification treatment processes at the plant. These essential works will be carried out as quickly and as safely as possible and in line with Covid-19 protocols. Customers are reminded to continue adhering to public health advice on hand washing and hygiene regarding COVID-19 while these upgrade works are underway. Irish Water will liaise with the HSE and EPA throughout the duration of the works.
To facilitate these works the treatment process will be compromised and this is why customers must boil their water before use to make it safe for consumption. Water must be boiled for drinking, preparation of salads and similar foods which are not cooked prior to eating, making of ice and brushing teeth.
Anthony Skeffington, Regional Operations Manager for Irish Water had this advice: “Public Health is Irish Water’s number one priority and we continue to work with Mayo County Council to upgrade the Achill Water Treatment Plant on a phased basis. Customers must continue to boil their water before consumption while the treatment processes at the plant are offline to facilitate the next phase of works being carried out.”
Martin Temple, Asset Delivery Lead for Irish Water, explained further: “We acknowledge the impact a Boil Water Notice has on a community and we thank our customers in advance for their patience and cooperation while these essential works are taking place to provide more robust treatment processes at the Achill Water Treatment Plant. These works will improve the clarification process thus improving the quality and capacity of the water treatment plant.
“The works are progressing on target and once we have a confirmed completion date we will let customers know. In line with HSE COVID-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.”
Vulnerable customers are reminded that the water is safe to consume once boiled.
Business customers will receive a 40 per cent rebate on the cost of the supply of water to their businesses for the duration of the Boil Water Notice.
Water must be boiled for:
- 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. It is important to keep babies hydrated.
Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.
Irish Water is working closely with Mayo County Council to lift the notice as quickly as it is safe to do so. Updates will be available on our Water Supply Updates section on water.ie, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1850 278 278. Further information in relation to the boil water notice is available from https://www.water.ie/water-supply/water-quality/boil-water-notice/
Irish Water continues to work at this time with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.