20 February 2023
By Tony Forde
Uisce Éireann and Cork County Council wish to remind customers supplied by the Killavullen Public Water Supply that a Boil Water Notice remains in place to protect public health. The Boil Water Notice, issued on 2 May 2022, was put in place due to high levels of turbidity in the borehole supply.
Drinking water experts from Uisce Éireann and Cork County Council are working to rectify the turbidity issues and lift the notice, as quickly and as safely as possible, in consultation with the HSE. Uisce Éireann is also progressing a permanent solution to address the issues in the long-term that will ensure a safe, reliable drinking water supply to customers. Interim upgrade works are also progressing and should be completed by the end of February. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil water before use until further notice.
Uisce Éireann’s Operations Lead, Pat Britton said: “I would again like to express my gratitude on behalf of Uisce Éireann and Cork County Council to the people of Killavullen who continue to be impacted by this Boil Water Notice. We are continuing to work hard to lift the notice as soon as it is safe to do so. We are also working on a permanent solution. However, until then, additional Boil Water Notices may need to be issued to protect public health.”
Interim upgrade works are nearing completion. The update will increase the water treatment plants ability to effectively manage turbidity issues. Following a period of monitoring and testing, to ensure optimal standards have been achieved, Uisce Éireann and Cork County Council will consult with the HSE with a view to lifting the Boil Water Notice.
To safeguard the water supply in the long term, Uisce Éireann is progressing plans to connect Killavullen to the Mallow Public Water supply Scheme, replacing and decommissioning the local water supply and ensuring safer, more reliable drinking water now and into the future. A design and build contractor has been engaged to progress the design of a permanent solution. Following the design phase, construction is expected to commence before the end of Q2 2023.
Uisce Éireann’s drinking water standards, as per EU Drinking Water regulations, are strict and include wide safety margins. Where risks to water quality are identified through Uisce Éireann’s enhanced testing and monitoring programme, the Health Service Executive (HSE) are consulted, and Boil Water Notices are issued to protect public health. In all instances immediate action is taken to address the cause of the issue to enable the lifting of the notice as quickly as it safe to do so, in agreement with the HSE.
Vulnerable customers who have registered with Uisce Éireann receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice and are reminded that the water is safe to consume once boiled. Those who have concerns should contact our customer care team on 1800 278 278.
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.
· Preparing Infant Formula: Where a Boil Water Notice is in place, you can prepare infant formula from tap water that has been boiled once (rolling boil for 1 minute) and cooled beforehand. 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.
Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.
“Uisce Éireann 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.”