Notice no longer applies to consumers in the Bellaghy area

Following consultation with the Health Service Executive, Irish Water working in partnership with Sligo County Council, advise that the boil water notice for the area supplied by the Lough Talt Public Water Supply will remain in place. 
The boil water notice was put in place on Friday January 11 following a detection of cryptosporidium during routine sampling at the water treatment plant. A population of approximately 13,000 people are affected including the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote and a large rural hinterland including the villages of Annagh, Aclare, Bellaghy, Curry, Lavagh, Ballanacarrow, Carrowneden, Kilmacteige and Coolaney. The Boil Water Notice also includes consumers supplied by the Ogham Group Water Scheme and the following areas in Co, Mayo: Cloontia, Doocastle and Quarryfield. 

450 customers will be removed from the boil water notice

The Boil Water Notice is no longer in effect in the Bellaghy area following the reinstatement of a connection between the Lough Talt and Charlestown Public Water Supplies to allow the Bellaghy area to be supplied from the Charlestown public water supply. Approximately 450 customers will be removed from the boil water notice in Bellaghy, Sandyhill, Cloonaughill, Cully and the southern 80% part of Bunnacrannagh, Brackloonagh, Brogher, Lissard, and Curryfuel. All customers in the Bunnacrannagh area who will be removed from the Boil Water Notice will have received notification via leaflet drop to advise their supply will transfer to the Charlestown Public Water supply. The remaining customers in Bunnacrannagh and the other areas supplied from Lough Talt should continue to boil their water before use. View updated map of the affected areas

The level of treatment currently provided at the Lough Talt water treatment plant does not provide adequate protection against cryptosporidium. Irish Water is advising customers that in the absence of a validated cryptosporidium barrier there is a risk their supply is contaminated with Cryptosporidium.

Planning application submitted for upgraded treatment plant

Irish Water made a planning application to Sligo County Council in May 2018 seeking permission for an upgraded treatment plant.  As requested by Sligo County Council, as part of its assessment of the application, Irish Water submitted further information to the Council in December 2018. A decision by Sligo County Council on the planning application is subject to a statutory process and involves complex environmental assessments and statutory consultee engagement. Irish Water awaits the outcome of this statutory process.

The Lough Talt supply is currently on the EPA’s Remedial Action List (RAL) for both cryptosporidium and THM risk. The emergency plant is to be built on the existing site and Irish Water has lodged the revised planning application with Sligo County Council on May 28th. 

Anthony Skeffington, Irish Water, said “We fully recognise the disruption and inconvenience caused to customers as a result of this Boil Water Notice and would like to assure the public that we are working as a matter of priority to restore a safe and compliant water supply as quickly as possible, in consultation with the HSE. Public health is our number one priority and ultimately our aim is to provide compliant and robust water treatment for the 13,000 people who are supplied by the Lough Talt public water supply in the shortest possible time and that is where our attentions are focused.
“Irish Water and Sligo County Council sincerely apologise to all customers for any inconvenience caused by this Boil Water Notice.”

Customers are reminded to continue to boil water before consumption including the washing of teeth, making of ice and in the preparation of food that is not cooked. It is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice

Treatment plant upgrade

Irish Water made a planning application to Sligo County Council in May 2018 seeking permission for an upgraded treatment plant. As requested by Sligo County Council, as part of its assessment of the application, Irish Water submitted further information to the Council in December 2018.
Irish Water is liaising with the HSE and an incident management team has been set up to give full attention to this incident.

Water must be boiled for:

  • Drinking
  • 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.
  • HSE advice for making up 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 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.
  • Anyone suffering from diarrhoea for more than two days should contact their general practitioner and provide a stool sample for testing. They should continue to drink plenty of boiled or bottled water.
  • Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

More information

More information and advice is available on our Boil Water Notice page. You can also call our customer care team on Callsave 1850 278 278 or visit Twitter at IWCare for any queries on this notice. View the Lough Talt Boil Water Notice.
Irish Water and Sligo County Council regret the inconvenience this boil water notice has had on businesses and residents and would like to thank all customers for their continued co-operation during the period of the notice. Business customers will receive a 40% rebate, most likely reflected in their next bill on the cost of the supply of water to their businesses for the duration of the boil water notice.

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