Boil Water Notice lifted for Portmagee Public Water Supply

12 October 2021

Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), Irish Water in partnership with Kerry County Council can confirm that the Boil Water Notice impacting customers supplied by the Portmagee Public Water Supply has been lifted with immediate effect and the water is safe to drink. The notice was issued on Saturday 09 October as a precautionary measure to protect public health due to high levels of turbidity affecting the treatment process at Portmagee Water Treatment Plant. Irish Water and Kerry County Council experts worked to resolve the situation as quickly and as safely as possible. Following a number of satisfactory water samples and the completion of remedial works at the treatment plant, the Boil Water notice was lifted.

Ian O’Mahony, Regional Operations Lead, Irish Water, said, “Irish Water acknowledges and understands the impact of this boil water notice on the people affected in Portmagee Village and the Chapeltown and Knightstown areas of Valentia Island and we sincerely regret any inconvenience caused. We wish to thank the community for their patience while we worked to resolve the issue and restore a normal water supply as quickly as safely as possible. Irish Water’s priority is the provision of safe, clean drinking water and safeguarding that water supply for the future is a vital focus.

If customers have any queries regarding this Boil Water Notice and the lifting of it, they can contact Irish Water directly on our customer care helpline, open 24/7, on 1800 278 278.

Irish Water continues to work at this time with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.

Previous Updates

Following consultation with the Health Service Executive, Irish Water and Kerry County Council are issuing a Boil Water Notice with immediate effect to protect the health of consumers supplied by the Portmagee Public Water Supply serving Portmagee Village and the Chapeltown and Knightstown areas of Valentia Island.

If any customer is unsure on whether or not the Boil Water Notice applies to their area, please contact the Irish Water customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278.

The Boil Water Notice has been put in place due to high levels of turbidity affecting the treatment process at Portmagee Water Treatment Plant. The notice affects approximately 780 people supplied by Portmagee Public Water Supply.

Experts from Irish Water and Kerry County Council are working to assess the situation and are investigating the issues at Portmagee Water Treatment Plant with a view to implementing solutions to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil their water before use until further notice.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Commenting, Ian O’Mahony, Irish Water’s Asset Operations Lead said: “Public health is Irish Water’s number one priority and we would like to assure customers that the notice has been put in place to protect customers. We are aware of the impact that this notice will have on the area affected and thank our customers in advance for their patience and cooperation while we work as safely and as efficiently as possible to rectify the situation.

We advise customers in the affected areas to adhere to the Boil Water Notice until further notice. We will continue to work closely with Kerry County Council and the HSE to monitor the supply and lift the notice when it is safe to do so. We will issue a further update as soon as more information is available.

In line with HSE COVID-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

Vulnerable customers are reminded that the water is safe to consume once boiled.

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. If bottled water is used for the preparation of infant feeds it should be boiled once and cooled. If you are using bottled water for preparing baby food, be aware that some natural mineral water may have high sodium content. The legal limit for sodium in drinking water is 200mg per litre. Check the label on the bottled water to make sure the sodium or `Na' is not greater than 200mg per litre. If it is, then it is advisable to use a different type of bottled water. If no other water is available, then use this water for as short a time as possible. It is important to keep babies hydrated.
  • Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

Irish Water is working closely with Kerry 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. Further information is available on the Boil Water Notice section of our website.

Irish Water continues to work at this time with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.