EPA’s audit of the old Leixlip Plant and the satisfactory results of a number of water samples were factors in the decision to lift the Notice

Following consultation and in agreement with the HSE, Irish Water and Fingal County Council can confirm that the Boil Water Notice for customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant has been lifted with immediate effect.

The EPA’s audit of the old Leixlip Plant and the satisfactory results of a number of water samples were factors in the decision to lift the Notice.

The EPA conducted their audit of the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant on Friday 8 November. Irish Water, Fingal County Council were on site to support the audit and the HSE were also present. The EPA, who are expected to publish their findings next week, were able to see the ways in which Irish Water and Fingal County Council have optimised the old plant; the additional staffing and monitoring; and daily water testing.

Irish Water, the HSE, EPA and Fingal County Council will continue to liaise on the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant, the protection of public health being the number on priority.

Niall Gleeson Managing Director of Irish Water said,

“Irish Water acknowledge and understand the impact of this boil water notice on the 600,000 people affected and we sincerely regret the inconvenience.”

“We endeavoured to keep the public up to date at every stage and we are grateful to the media, elected representatives and members of the public who shared the information on social media and who supported family, friends and neighbours.”

“We are grateful to our partners in Fingal County Council who worked with us to provide all of the necessary information to the HSE and EPA to facilitate the lifting of this boil water notice.”

“The old plant at Leixlip remains vulnerable and Irish Water working with Fingal County Council will be working to minimise the risk of another Boil Water Notice. We have maximised the processes to build resilience while also diverting water from Ballymore Eustace, the country’s biggest water treatment plant, to decrease pressure on the old plant at Leixlip. Working with Fingal County Council we are increasing the monitoring and staffing at the plant while also increasing the water testing. The ultimate solution is to replace the filters at the old plant and this process is being accelerated as quickly and safely as possible while still maintaining supply to the greater Dublin area.”

“If we could, we would shut down the old plant, take it off line and do all the refurbishment at once. This is not possible because 20% of Dublin’s water supply comes from the Old Plant and we do not have the spare capacity to allow this to happen.”

“We will continue to monitor the plant closely.”

Should customers have any queries regarding this Boil Water Notice and the lifting of it they should contact Irish Water directly on our customer care helpline. 

Updates are available on the Water Supply Updates section on our website, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline open 24/7 on 1850 278 278.

Using water in a boil water notice

Boil Water Notice FAQs

  • 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
  • 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
  • When boiling water
    • 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
  • 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
  • Prepare infant feeds with tap 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 also be used to make up infant formula but if it is used it should be boiled once and cooled. 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.
  • 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.

To be on the safe side, it is a good idea to boil the water and let it cool before giving to your pet.

A Boil Water Notice is imposed to protect human health. If you have concerns regarding your animals drinking water that is subject to a Boil Water Notice then you should consult your Vet. Outdoor animals, such as cattle and horses, are exposed to bacteria on a daily basis vastly in excess of that experienced by humans.

This BWN was imposed on a precautionary basis. If you are feeling unwell, you should visit your local GP. As a regulated utility, Irish Water are not in a position to cover GP costs. For more information on crypto or giardia please visit the Health Protection Surveillance Centre website at the HSE website.

Boiling does not remove turbidity from your drinking water. The BWN was imposed on a precautionary basis as the turbidity levels in the treated water were above a defined quality threshold. This meant we couldn’t guarantee that harmful parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia weren’t removed during the treatment process. Boiling and cooling the water before drinking will kill any Crypto and Giardia that may be present making it safe to drink.

No, the addition of chlorine is only effective against harmful bacteria such as E. coli. It is not effective against parasites such as Crypto or Giardia. There has therefore been no change to the chlorine dosing at Leixlip.

All water intended for human consumption should be boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute and cooled before it is used to make hot drinks.

The BWN was imposed on a precautionary basis. However if you are feeling unwell you should consult your GP. You can check to see if your water is affected by viewing our map of affected areas.

Irish Water’s priority is ensuring public health is protected. We are actively reviewing and refining the outer boundaries of this interactive map to ensure all relevant properties are captured. If your property is located within the area identified in the interactive map then the Boil Water Notice is applicable to your drinking water. Please contact our customer care helpline on 1850 278 278 if you have a concern.

The lifting of the recent boil water notice (BWN) took into account the time required (through normal flow rates and use) for the remaining non-compliant water to fully pass through the network. This would also have taken into account private side storage systems in domestic properties. Good plumbing practice however would require your drinking water tap should be plumbed directly from the mains and not from a header tank. Water from a header tank should only be used for your hot water supply, showers, and flushing toilets.

Yes, please put your dishwasher on the highest temperature setting, and let the dishes dry before use.

Most filters are designed to improve the taste and odour of water and not remove harmful bacteria. Check the manual or contact the manufacturer for more information. If in doubt, you should boil your water or use bottled water.

During the short time your water supply is interrupted most central heating systems can be used. However, if you are unsure please refer to your manufacturer’s guide or check with a heating professional.

Consult your local GP for medical advice.

It is recommended that if it is a large open wound or if you are immuno-compromised, apply a waterproof bandage to the wound or take a sponge bath. Seek medical advice for further information.

Precautionary Notice means that an incident occurred in which there is a slight chance of backflow or bacteria the entering system, such as, low or no pressure or a water main break or a disruption in the water plant treatment.  A Mandatory Notice is issued when a microbiological contaminant is known to actually exist in the water in an amount that exceeds the allowable maximum contaminant level for drinking water standards.

Irish Water is committed to updating customers and informing them of outages, interruptions to supply or boil water notices. To do so where appropriate we leverage a range of channels including social media via Twitter and Facebook, website updates, interviews and press releases to radio and tv at both local and national level, email updates to Local and Oireachtas representatives, briefings to business representative groups, and text messages and phone calls to vulnerable customers. We would like to thank councillors in particular for their support in sharing information surrounding the boil water notice with their constituents. Existing customer data from legacy sign ups would need further investigation before use, as a significant portion of the mobile numbers may no longer be based in the area affected.

 

Previous updates

8th November 2019 - Following consultation with the HSE, Irish Water and Fingal County Council can confirm that the Boil Water Notice for customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant will remain in place as testing of the water continues.

The EPA, supported by Irish Water and Fingal County Council, conducted an audit of the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant today. The HSE were also present The test results of three water samples taken throughout the week were found to be satisfactory and these results formed part of the audit process. 

The HSE has determined that three satisfactory consecutive samples are required after Wednesday evening, when the old plant came back into full compliance, before the Boil Water Notice can be lifted. Work will continue over the weekend to complete the testing. The final test will be processed and analysed and results should be available on Tuesday.

Following the site meeting, the HSE, EPA, Fingal County Council and Irish Water discussed the audit and the water sampling results. HSE are satisfied with the information and risk assessment provided by Irish Water to support the ultimate lifting of the Boil water notice. The HSE, EPA, Fingal County Council will continue to liaise on the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant.

Niall Gleeson Managing Director of Irish Water said,

“Irish Water acknowledge and understand the impact of this boil water notice on the 600,000 people affected and we sincerely regret the inconvenience.” “We endeavoured to keep the public up to date at every stage and we are grateful to the media, elected representatives and members of the public who shared the information on social media and who supported family, friends and neighbours.”

“We are grateful to our partners in Fingal County Council who worked with us to provide all of the necessary information to the HSE and EPA to facilitate the lifting of this boil water notice. Since early this morning Fingal County Council flushed the network in key areas to remove the remaining at risk water from the network.”

“We expect the EPA will publish their audit and in consultation with them Irish Water will agree an action plan based on the recommendations.”

“We are aware that the old plant at Leixlip is vulnerable and Irish Water working with Fingal County Council have worked to maximise the processes at the plant and increase the monitoring and staffing. Irish Water, working with Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council will work to move additional water through the system towards areas supplied by the Leixlip plant to take the pressure off the old plant. The ultimate solution is to replace the filters at the old plant and this process is being accelerated as quickly and safely as possible while still maintaining supply to the greater Dublin area.”

Should customers have any queries regarding this Boil Water Notice and the lifting of it they should contact Irish Water directly on our customer care helpline. 

Updates are available on our Water Supply Updates section, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline open 24/7 on 1850 278 278.

In consultation with the HSE, Irish Water and Fingal County Council can confirm that the Boil Water Notice to protect the health of customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant remains in place. The EPA are due to audit the Leixlip site tomorrow morning as part of the process to lift the Boil Water Notice. The HSE and senior management from Irish Water and Fingal County Council will also be in attendance.

Speaking in advance of the audit Eamon Gallen, General Manager said "Irish Water understand and appreciate that this Boil Water Notice is having a significant impact on homes and businesses. We have been in on-going discussions with the EPA and the HSE regarding the criteria to lift the Boil Water Notice. The main priority for everyone is the protection of human health.

The EPA will audit the plant tomorrow and Irish Water and Fingal County Council staff will be on site to provide whatever information or support the EPA require. The HSE will also be present. We are pleased that we have had the results of two water samples and both of these have been satisfactory. The EPA and HSE may include these satisfactory samples in their audit, but we will be bound by their requirements in this matter.

Boil Water Notices are imposed and lifted in consultation with the HSE

Boil Water Notices are imposed and lifted in consultation with the HSE, supported by the EPA, and Irish Water are working closely with both parties on this matter. It is essential that we are able to give the public confidence in their water supply which is why we must be absolutely certain that public health is protected.

Production has been increased in other plants serving the Greater Dublin Area to reduce the pressure on Leixlip. Irish Water have additional staff at the Leixlip Treatment Plant now to assist and support staff from Fingal County Council. Working together the engineers are looking at ways to optimise the operation of the old Leixlip plant, making it more resilient at times of adverse weather and throughout the period of the refurbishment of the old filters.” 

Areas impacted

The Boil Water Notice impacts approximately 600,000 people supplied by the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant. The areas impacted include parts of Fingal; areas in Dublin City Council; parts of South Dublin County Council; parts of Kildare and Dunboyne in Meath.

The Boil Water Notice was put in place as a precaution on Monday evening, 4 November, as turbidity (cloudy water due to suspended particles levels) in the source water for the old part of the Leixlip Plant exceeded acceptable levels. The turbidity was caused by heavy rainfall over the weekend. The turbidity means that Irish Water cannot guarantee the quality of the water entering the network from the old plant.

Irish Water has contacted registered vulnerable customers who are affected by this Boil Water Notice.

Updates

Updates are available on Twitter @IWCare and on our Water Supply Updates map. Should customers have any queries regarding this Boil Water Notice they should contact our customer care helpline directly on 1850 278 278.

Boil Water Notice to protect the health of customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant remains in place

In consultation with the HSE, Irish Water and Fingal County Council can confirm that the Boil Water Notice to protect the health of customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant remains in place. Irish Water and Fingal County Council senior management met this morning at the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant to discuss the progressing work and mitigation measures that could be put in place to minimise the risk of the old plant not being able to treat very cloudy water. Present at the meeting were the Managing Director of Irish Water Niall Gleeson, General Manager Eamon Gallen as well as senior management staff in the areas of operations and water compliance. The CEO of Fingal County Council AnnMarie Farrelly, members of the management team and other senior staff and plant staff were also in attendance.

Meetings with the EPA and the HSE are on-going

Meetings are on-going with the EPA and the HSE to discuss the criteria for lifting the Boil Water Notice as quickly and as safely as possible. Irish Water's primary focus is and always will be the protection of public health.

Minister Eoghan Murphy joined Irish Water and Fingal County Council to visit the old plant to see the filter beds that are being replaced and to better understand the process, the challenges and the mitigation measures.

Why was the BWN put in place?

Due to heavy rain, the source water going into the plant was cloudy due to suspended particles. The old Leixlip Plant was not able to cope with the cloudiness levels. Plant operators reacted quickly before alarms were activated and shut down the old plant to stop this water entering the network. There were no issues at the new plant, where the level of turbidity was managed by the newer technology on site.

Due to falling levels in the treated water reservoirs it was critical that production was re-started at the old plant otherwise significant restrictions and outages and other water quality issues would be inevitable. The ‘old plant’ at Leixlip produces 20% of the overall daily water demand for the Greater Dublin Area. As Irish Water cannot guarantee the quality the water from the old plant, a Boil Water Notice remains in place.

Upcoming yellow weather alert impact customers

Irish Water are aware of the upcoming yellow weather alert. We are looking at a range of solutions to ensure that increases in cloudiness in the water can be managed more effectively by the old plant. It is not possible to say conclusively at this time what impact any particular weather warning may have on the water produced but we will be monitoring the situation closely.

Speaking about the Boil Water Notice, Irish Water’s General Manager, Eamon Gallen, said “Irish Water apologises for the impact and inconvenience caused by this Boil Water Notice to homes and businesses. Our number one priority is public health and the safety and well-being of our customers. We would like to reassure our customers that Irish Water’s drinking water and operational experts are working with our colleagues in Fingal County Council and in consultation with the HSE and the EPA to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

“While we are working to bring the water back to a safe standard so that the Boil Water Notice can be lifted, we would like to remind people to check if they are in an affected area and to familiarise themselves with the safety advice. We would like to thank the public, media and elected representatives for sharing the news of the Boil Water Notice as it is essential that we reach as many people as possible.”

Customer care

Irish Water has contacted registered vulnerable customers who are affected by this Boil Water Notice. Should customers have any queries regarding this Boil Water Notice they should contact our customer care helpline, open 24/7, on 1850 278 278. Updates are available on Twitter @IWCare.

What areas are impacted?

Approximately 600,000 people are impacted. The areas impacted are parts of Fingal, areas in Dublin City Council, parts of South Dublin County Council, parts of Kildare and Dunboyne in Meath.

View map of affected areas

Boil Water Notice re-issued for customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant as weather affects water quality

In consultation with the HSE, Irish Water and Fingal County Council can confirm that, as a precaution, a Boil Water Notice to protect the health of customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant has been put in place for a second time.

Due to heavy rain, turbidity (cloudy water due to suspended particles levels) in the source water for the old Leixlip Plant exceeded acceptable levels. Plant operators reacted quickly before alarms were activated and shut down the old plant to stop this water entering the network. There were no issues at the new plant, where the level of turbidity was managed by the newer technology on site. It was essential to re-start production at the old plant, which produces 20% of drinking water for Dublin, otherwise significant restrictions and outages would be inevitable. As Irish Water cannot guarantee the quality the water from the old plant, a Boil Water Notice is now in place.

Speaking about the Boil Water Notice, Eamon Gallen, Irish Water’s General Manager said "Irish Water acknowledges and apologises for the impact and inconvenience caused by this Boil Water Notice to homes and businesses. We are very disappointed that a Boil Water Notice has to be imposed again but as we outlined the last time, our number one priority is the public health and the safety and well-being of our customers.

“The choice we were faced with was customers having a severely restricted water supply for a long period of time or having water for sanitation purposes such as showering and flushing of toilets. We were left with no option but to resume production at the old plant in the knowledge that a Boil Water Notice would then be necessary. We will work with Fingal County Council to get the Boil Water Notice lifted as soon as possible, subject to consultation with the EPA and HSE.”

What areas are impacted?

Approximately 600,000 people are impacted. The areas impacted are parts of Fingal, areas in Dublin City Council, parts of South Dublin County Council, parts of Kildare and Dunboyne in Meath. View our map of the areas inpacted.

Irish Water is in the process of contacting registered vulnerable customers who are affected by this Boil Water Notice to advise them.

We would be grateful if the public, media and elected representatives would share the news of the Boil Water Notice as it is essential that we reach as many people as possible.

Updates

Updates are available on Twitter @IWCare. You can also call our customer care helpline, open 24/7, on 1850 278 278.

View map of affected areas

Dublin, Kildare, Meath

Back to the top