23 October 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Irish Water and Cork County Council would like to remind customers supplied by Macroom Public Water Supply, serving Macroom town, Codrum, Masseytown, Kilnagurteen, Coolehane, Coolcower, Macloneigh, Carrigadrohid, Ballinagree and surrounding areas, that the Boil Water Notice issued on 20 October remains in place until further notice.
The Boil Water Notice has been put in place a precautionary measure due to elevated turbidity in the supply. The notice affects approximately 4,200 people supplied by the Macroom Public Water Supply, serving Macroom town, Codrum, Masseytown, Kilnagurteen, Coolehane, Coolcower, Macloneigh, Carrigadrohid, Ballinagree and surrounding areas.
An updated map of the affected areas is attached. If any customer is unsure on whether or not the Boil Water Notice applies to their area, please contact the Irish Water customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278.
Experts from Irish Water and Cork County Council are working to implement solutions with a view to lifting the notice as quickly and as safely as possible. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil their water before use until further notice.
Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.
Commenting, Neil Smyth, Irish Water’s Asset Operations Lead said: “We had issues at Macroom water treatment plant over the last 10 days. Last week we completed works on the filtration process at the plant, which helped ensure safe drinking water was supplied into the network. However, intermittent shut-downs were required while the works were taking place and this resulted in a reduced amount of treated water being available for supply. On Wednesday morning, the turbidity level in filtered water did not meet the required levels. Following consultation with the HSE, a boil water notice was put in place.
“Works are continuing this week to restore normal treatment processes and new equipment that is required to address issues with the filtration process at the plant will be delivered and commissioned next week. Once installation and testing of the new equipment is complete, a period of stable operation, monitoring and sampling will be required before the boil water notice can be lifted.
“We are aware of how this notice is affecting everyone. We thank our customers in advance for their patience and cooperation while we work as safely and as efficiently as possible to complete these upgrade works.
“Public health is Irish Water’s number one priority. We advise customers in the affected areas to adhere to the Boil Water Notice until further notice. We will continue to work closely with Cork County Council and the HSE to monitor the supply and lift the notice when it is safe to do so. We will issue a further update as soon as more information is available.”
For customers who wish to check if their property is on the Boil Water Notice themselves, please go to the following link on the Irish Water website: https://www.water.ie/help/
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.
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 Cork County Council to lift the notice as soon 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 1800 278 278. Further information in relation to the Boil Water Notice is available from https://www.water.ie/water-
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.