Boil Water Notice remains in place for Ballymacarbry Public Water Supply

20 May 2022

Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), Irish Water and Waterford City and County Council issued a Boil Water Notice on Friday, May 13 to protect the health of approximately 671 consumers supplied by the Ballymacarbry Public Water Supply scheme. This Boil Water Notice remains in place until further notice. However, the utility is working towards lifting the Boil Water Notice as soon as possible with testing and works ongoing.

Ballymacabry has experienced water shortages over previous summers, and in an effort to supplement the supply a new trail well was drilled. The works on site have resulted in increased turbidity’s in the supply and experts are currently working to bring in the new supply and reduce the increased levels in turbidity. These works will be on-gong into next week and Irish Water will provide a further update at that stage. 

This Boil Water Notice applies to all consumers supplied by the Ballymacarbry Public Water Supply including the following areas: Ballymacarbry, Castlereagh, Knockalisheen, Nire and Fourmilewater. 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.

Irish Water's primary focus is and always will be the protection of public health. Drinking water experts from Irish Water and Waterford City and County Council are working to implement solutions to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible in consultation with the HSE. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil and cool their water before use until further notice.

Irish Water’s Ronan Walsh acknowledged the impact of this notice on the community and regrets the inconvenience to impacted customers, adding: “Public health is Irish Water’s number one priority, and we are working closely with Waterford City and County Council to restore drinking water quality for all impacted customers in Ballymacarbry and to lift the Boil Water Notice as quickly as it is safe to do so, and in consultation with the HSE. We regret the impact that this Boil Water Notice will have on the local community and would like to assure them that we are prioritising works to restore a safe water supply with a view of lifting the notice as soon as it is safe to do so.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice and are reminded that the water is safe to consume once boiled and cooled. In line with HSE advice on hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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.

Previous Updates

Irish Water, working in partnership with Waterford City and County Council wishes to advise that a Boil Water Notice has been put in place for those supplied by the Ballymacarbry Public Water Supply, following consultation with the HSE. This notice applies to all consumers supplied by the Ballymacarbry Public Water Supply including the following areas: Ballymacarbry, Castlereagh, Knockalisheen, Nire and Fourmilewater.

Due to a deterioration in raw water quality, the drinking water entering the Ballymacarbry Public Water Supply may be affected. The population affected by this notice is 671.

All consumers affected by this notice must boil their water before drinking.

Speaking about the Boil Water Notice, Irish Water's Ronan Walsh said;

"As public health is our number one priority in Irish Water, the Boil Water Notice will remain in place until it has been deemed safe to lift and having consulted with the HSE. Customer queries can be directed to 1800 278 278 and further information can be found at www.water.ie. We will monitor the supply and lift the notice as soon as it is safe to do so and in consultation with the HSE. We thank the community for their cooperation and patience."

A list of affected areas and a map will be made available as soon as possible.

Boil Water Notice Advice and additional information

Water must be boiled (rolling boil for 1 minute and then cooled) for:

  • Drinking
  • Preparing Drinks made with water
  • Preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating
  • Brushing of teeth and/or gargling
  • Making of ice. However, ensure you first discard all existing ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges

IMPORTANT: Boil water by bringing to a vigorous, rolling boil and allow to cool. Cover and store in a refrigerator or cold place. Water from the hot tap of kitchen or bathroom sinks is not safe to drink.

You do not have to boil your water for the following:

  • Personal hygiene, baths and showers 
  • Flushing of toilets
  • Watering plants and flowers

Caution:

  • 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
  • Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges. Make ice from cooled boiled water
  • If you have pets and are concerned about the impact of providing mains water while this BWN is in place, you should ask your local vet for advice

Only use Prepared Water (boiled and cooled) for the following situations.

  • When preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing and preparing salads)
  • 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.

Always Take Care:

  • Care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds. Accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

How long before the boil water notice can be lifted?

  • We do not know at present, but Irish Water will continue to liaise and consult with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting the Boil Water Notice as soon as practicable.

How will we keep you informed?

You will be kept informed through the following media:

Website: www.water.ie 

Irish Water Customer Contact Centre: 1800 278 278

Vulnerable customers who have registered their details with IW will be directly contacted.