Notice issued following detection of cryptosporidium in the treated water from the plant

Following advice from the Health Service Executive, Irish Water, working in partnership with Sligo County Council, has reissued a Boil Water Notice on the Lough Talt Regional Water Supply Scheme. This has been issued with immediate effect following the detection of cryptosporidium in the treated water coming from the plant.
Commenting Anthony Skeffington, Regional Operations Manager from Irish Water, said “Cryptosporidium has once again been detected in the treatment plant and two cases of illness have presented to the HSE.

Public health

Public health is our number one priority and it is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice. We will be contacting vulnerable customers supplied by this scheme who have self-declared to Irish Water directly by telephone. Irish Water sincerely apologises for the inconvenience that will be caused and we will work closely with local stakeholders and elected representatives to keep the local community updated”.
A Boil Water Notice was originally issued for Lough Talt Public Water Supply on 5th February 2018. The notice was lifted on the 25th October 2018 following a consultative meeting between Irish Water, the HSE and Sligo County Council, where it was agreed to lift the notice as there were no reported cases of illness in the community and zero detections of cryptosporidium over a continuous monitoring period. In the interim Irish Water continued to monitor this supply closely which led to the current detection.

Areas affected

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, Curry, Lavagh, Ballanacarrow, Carrowneden, Kilmacteige and Coolaney. A map of the scheme will be made available on this site as well as the Sligo County Council’s website. 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. View the map of affected areas.

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.
  • Prepare infant feeds with water that has been brought to the boil once and cooled. Do not use water that has been re-boiled several times. 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.
  • 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.

Mayo, Sligo

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