Boil Water Notice lifted for customers supplied by Birr Public Water Supply
05 September 2023
Uisce Éireann would like to notify customers supplied by the Birr Public Water Supply, that the Boil Water Notice issued on Wednesday, 30 August is now lifted with immediate effect. This follows consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE).
All customers supplied by the Birr Public Water Supply can now resume normal use of the water supply for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth.
Jim Fitzgerald, Uisce Éireann, acknowledged the impact of this notice on the community.
“Uisce Éireann wishes to thank everyone for their patience, co-operation, and assistance during this Boil Water Notice and we greatly regret any inconvenience caused to homes and businesses in the community.”
The Uisce Éireann Customer Contact Centre (1800 278 278) is available to answer customer queries in relation to the lifting of this water quality notice.
Uisce Éireann is responsible for delivering public drinking water and wastewater services for the people of Ireland. We are committed to enabling communities to thrive by continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support sustainable growth and development, providing safe drinking water, and enhancing the environment. To find out more visit www.water.ie.
Following consultation with the Health Service Executive, Uisce Éireann have issued a Boil Water Notice to protect the health of approximately 5,173 customers supplied by Birr Public Water Supply. This is due to operational issues at the water treatment plant.
All customers supplied by Birr Public Water Supply are impacted. As shown in the map, this includes the area from the Lidl store to the North of Birr to the Airfield to the South and from Riverstown to the West and Clonoghil Lower to the East.
Customers can check if their property is included by visiting our Water Quality section and entering the property’s Eircode or by calling the Uisce Éireann’s customer care helpline, open 24/7, on 1800 278 278. A map of the area is attached and available to view on the supply and service section of water.ie.
All consumers affected by this notice must boil their water before drinking.
Uisce Éireann’s primary focus is and always will be the protection of public health. Drinking water experts from Uisce Éireann are working, in consultation with the HSE, to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil and cool their water before use until further notice.
Uisce Eireann’s Jim Fitzgerald acknowledged the impact of this notice on the community.
“Public health is Uisce Éireann’s number one priority and we would like to assure customers that the notice has been put in place to protect public health. We would like to assure customers that we are working to lift the notice as quickly as possible.”
Uisce Éireann’s drinking water standards, as per EU Drinking Water regulations, are strict and include wide safety margins. Where risks to water quality are identified through Uisce Éireann’s enhanced testing and monitoring programme, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is consulted, and Boil Water Notices are issued to protect public health. In all instances immediate action is taken to address the cause of the issue to enable the lifting of the notice as quickly as it safe to do so, in agreement with the HSE.
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.