Irish Water has said that it and its contractors are making good progress in cleaning up the Fethard Water Treatment Plant following a third party fuel spill in the River Anner on the weekend of March 3-4.
Intensive cleaning of the plant and reservoir is currently underway and it is hoped that limited production will be resumed at the plant towards the end of this week in order to allow testing of the water treatment process to get underway. This is a necessary first step towards resuming full production at the plant and restoring a normal water supply to customers.
However it is important to note that the Do Not Drink notice will remain in place until further notice. Any decision to lift this notice will be taken in consultation with the HSE following a period of rigorous monitoring and testing of the quality of the water being produced from the plant to ensure it is safe for consumption.
Since the incident occurred, Irish Water and Tipperary County Council have been managing the network to maintain a partial water supply for cleaning and other sanitary purposes. This has been supplemented by direct feeding of parts of the network by tanker.
Over the coming days additional water outages will be experienced in some areas as water is diverted to the plant reservoir to allow for testing of the water treatment process. Customers who have appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers plumbed directly from the mains supply are advised to continue to be careful in their use as unexpected interruptions to supply could damage their appliances.
We are also asking customers in the area to continue to conserve water where possible by turning off taps when not in use, taking showers instead of baths and checking for leaks. Irish Water is especially appealing to anyone with an outside tap to ensure that it is securely turned off.
In the meantime, water stations will be maintained throughout the area to provide drinking water for affected customers. This alternative water should be boiled before normal use for drinking and food preparation. Details of the locations of tankers will be available on the Service and Supply Section of the Irish Water website at www.water.ie/water-supply/ supply-and-service-update/ (see below)
Customers who have any health concerns should contact their GP in the first instance. Farmers who are concerned that livestock may have consumed contaminated water are advised to contact their local vet for advice, or their local Department of Agriculture contact.
Irish Water and Tipperary County Council fully acknowledge the inconvenience caused as a result of this incident and wish to assure customers that we are making every effort to restore a normal supply as quickly as possible in consultation with the HSE.
Should customers have any concerns or queries, they should contact Irish Water’s 24/7 customer care line at 1850 278 278.
This water should not be used for
drinks made with water
food preparation, washing or cooking of food
brushing of teeth, or
making of ice.
In particular, pregnant women should not drink this water.
This water should not be used for making up infant formula for bottled fed infants. An alternative source of water should be used. 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 one minute), and cooled in the normal way.
The water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils, however, if you are experiencing skin irritation you may wish to avoid using water for showering or bathing or washing clothes.
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.
Please note that boiling the water will not be sufficient to make it suitable to drink.
Areas affected include Fethard, Killenaule, Gortnahoe, Ballysloe, Ballynonty, Moyglass, Mullinahone, Drangan, Glengoole, Cloneen, Ballinure, Killusty and surrounding areas.