Boil Water Notice lifted for customers supplied by Athlone Water Treatment Plant

11 March 2022

All customers can now resume normal use of the water supply

Irish Water and Westmeath County Council confirm that the Boil Water Notice issued yesterday to protect the health of approximately 19,000 consumers supplied by Athlone Water Treatment has been lifted with immediate effect, in agreement with the Health Service Executive (HSE).

All customers served by Athlone Water Treatment Plant can now resume normal use of the water supply for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth.

John Gavin, Asset Operations Lead with Irish Water, said “Irish Water and our colleagues in Westmeath County Council wish to thank everyone for their patience, co-operation and assistance during this Boil Water Notice and regret any inconvenience caused to homes and businesses in the past 24 hours.

“Works are also progressing at Athlone Treatment Plant to increase its capacity, provide increased resilience, and safeguard the supply for the future.”

The Irish Water Customer Contact Centre, open 24/7 on freephone 1800 278 278 is available to answer customer queries in relation to the lifting of this notice. Further information is available on www.water.ie.

Irish Water and Westmeath County Council acknowledge the patience, cooperation and assistance of impacted stakeholders and regret any inconvenience caused.

Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.
 

Previous Updates

Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), Irish Water and Westmeath County Council confirm that the Boil Water notice issued yesterday to protect the health of approximately 19,000 consumers supplied by Athlone Water Treatment will remain in place until 6pm today. After this time, normal use of the water supply can be resumed for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth.

Areas impacted include Athlone Town, West Side, Baylough, Coosan, Baylin, Creve, Mount Temple, Glasson, Tubberclare, The Ories, Garrycastle, Ardnaglug, Fardrum, Moydrum, Blyry, Killyon Hill, Bonavalley, Athlone and surrounds in Co. Westmeath. A map of the extents of the area this Boil Water Notice applies to is attached. Customers can also check if they are impacted by this Boil Water Notice by visiting the Water Quality section of our website and entering their property’s Eircode in the search bar.

The Boil Water Notice has been put in place as a precautionary measure to protect public health following an issue with the disinfection process which resulted in small quantities of inadequately disinfected water entering the supply intermittently from 6 March. The issue at the plant is now resolved, however, in consultation with the HSE, it has been decided that the Boil Water Notice will remain in place as a precaution until 6pm today to ensure that any risk to water quality has passed.  Following this time, normal use water supply can resume.

The standards Irish Water applies to the treated drinking water we produce are strict and conform to requirements set out in legislation and those set by our Regulator, the EPA. Where risks to water quality are identified through our vigilance of day to day operations and our enhanced testing and monitoring programmes, the Health Service Executive (HSE) are consulted and the public are informed as appropriate (e.g. through Boil Water Notices) 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 consultation and agreement with the HSE.

John Gavin, Asset Operations Lead with Irish Water, regrets the inconvenience to impacted customers, adding, “Public health is Irish Water’s number one priority and we would like to assure customers that the notice was put in place as a precaution for 24 hours to protect public health.

We advise all customers supplied by Athlone Water Treatment to adhere to the Boil Water Notice until 6pm tomorrow. Works are also progressing at Athlone Treatment Plant to increase its capacity, provide increased resilience, and safeguard the supply for the future.

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 for handwashing.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water receive direct communication on Boil Water Notices. 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.

Updates are available on the Supply and Service Updates section of our website, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278.

Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), Irish Water and Westmeath County Council are issuing a Water Notice with immediate effect to protect the health of approximately 19,000 consumers supplied by Athlone Water Treatment.

The Boil Water notice will remain in place for 24 hours until 6pm tomorrow after which normal use of the water supply can be resumed for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth.

Areas impacted include:

Athlone Town, West Side, Baylough, Coosan, Baylin, Creve, Mount Temple, Glasson, Tubberclare, The Ories, Garrycastle, Ardnaglug, Fardrum, Moydrum, Blyry, Killyon Hill, Bonavalley, Athlone and surrounds in Co. Westmeath. A map of the extents of the area this Boil Water Notice applies to is attached. Customers can also check if they are impacted by this Boil Water Notice by visiting www.water.ie/help/water-quality/ and entering their property’s Eircode in the search bar.

The Boil Water Notice has been put in place as a precaution to protect public health following an issue with the disinfection process which resulted in small quantities of inadequately disinfected water entering the supply. The issue is now resolved. However, the Boil Water Notice will remain in place as a precaution for 24 hours, until 6pm tomorrow, 11 March. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil their water before use.

John Gavin, Asset Operations Lead with Irish Water, regrets the inconvenience to impacted customers, adding, “Public health is Irish Water’s number one priority and we would like to assure customers that the notice has been put in place as a precaution for 24 hours to protect public health.

“We advise all customers supplied by Athlone Water Treatment to adhere to the Boil Water Notice until 6pm tomorrow. Works are also progressing at Athlone Treatment Plant to increase its capacity, provide increased resilience, and safeguard the supply for the future.”

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 for handwashing.

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

Updates are 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.