10 December 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Irish Water, working in partnership with Cork County Council, wish to remind customer on the Whiddy Island Public Water Supply that the Do Not Consumer Notice issued on 7 September remains in place until further notice.
The notice was issued due to low water levels at the raw water extraction point and high levels of colour and turbidity in the treated water causing the drinking water quality entering the Whiddy Island public water supply to be affected.
The notice applies to approximately 30 customers. It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle fed infants. Please note that this is not a Boil Water Notice, i.e. boiling and cooling your water will not make it safe to drink.
Bottled water remains available at “The Bankhouse”.
Irish Water drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Cork County Council to resolve this situation as soon as possible. Further updates will be issued early next week.
Neil Smyth of Irish Water said: “Additional treatment stages have been installed and commissioned at the Whiddy Island Water Treatment Plant to deal with the water quality issues caused by high levels of turbidity, iron and manganese in the raw water. Since its installation, the levels of iron and manganese have reduced, but we must carry out further works at the treatment plant in order to get the levels down to what is required. It is only then that we can consult with the HSE about possibly lifting the Do Not Consume Notice. We hope to carry out these improvement works next week and resume sampling once complete.
“Public health remains our number one priority. We would like to thank the people of Whiddy Island for their patience and cooperation throughout.”
Water must not be used for:
Preparing drinks made with water
Preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating
Brushing of teeth and/or gargling
Making of ice.
You may use your water for the following:
Personal hygiene, baths and showers
Flushing of toilets
Watering plants and flowers
Caution: 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
Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges.
If you have pets and are concerned about the impact of providing mains water while this Do Not Consume Notice is in place, you should ask your local vet for advice.
Only use Prepared/ Bottled Water when preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing and preparing salads)
Preparing Infant Formula
Where a Do Not Consume Notice is in place, you can prepare infant formula from bottled water. 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.
If you are boiling bottled water to prepare infant formula, care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds. Accidents can easily happen, especially with children.
Updates will be available on www.water.ie at the Water Supply Updates section, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278. Customers can also set the location feature on water.ie for localised information about their water supply.