2 August 2023
By Tom Collins
Uisce Éireann and Cork County Council wish to inform customers that a precautionary Boil Water Notice, will come into effect from Thursday 3 August at 12 midnight (00.01 Friday 4 August), to protect the health of approximately 20,941customers supplied by the Glashaboy Water Treatment Plant. This is due to planned industrial action, arising from a dispute between the Unite Trade Union and 8 Local Authorities.
Uisce Éireann’s primary focus is and always will be the protection of public health. Due to the strike action, Uisce Éireann has taken steps to protect public health by imposing a Boil Water Notice on this scheme. All customers in the following areas, served by Glashaboy Public Water Supply Scheme, are advised to boil their water before consuming from Thursday 3 August at 12 midnight (00.01 Friday 4 August), until further notice: Glanmire, Glounthaune, Little Island, Carrigtwohill and surrounding areas.
The Boil Water Notice may run for several days as we will need time to assess the impacts on the treatment plant and processes post-strike. There may also be some disruption to water services, in particular, the speed at which bursts to the water network are repaired.
Customers can check if their property is included by visiting the Water Quality section of www.water.ie and entering the property’s Eircode or by calling the Uisce Éireann’s customer care helpline, open 24/7, on 1800 278 278.
Uisce Eireann’s Head of Water Operations, Margaret Attridge acknowledged the impact of this notice on the community.
“This dispute is not with Uisce Éireann and [is] outside our control. However, it will regrettably impact Uisce Éireann customers. We have stood up our incident management team and are working closely with management in the local authorities to ensure that contingency plans are in place to minimise and manage disruptions to water and wastewater services. To protect public health, we will have to put a Boil Water Notice in place from Thursday 3 August at 12 midnight (00.01 Friday 4 August). It is essential that customers follow this advice and boil their water,” she said.
Vulnerable customers who have registered with Uisce Éireann receive direct communication on Boil Water Notices. 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;
- 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.