Boil Water Notice for Ballyragget lifted with immediate effect

07 November 2022

Information below is relevant until further updates are provided here or on our Supply and Service Updates section.

The notice was originally issued as a precaution to protect public health in the area

Irish Water, working in partnership with Kilkenny County Council wishes to notify those consumers on the Ballyragget Public Water Supply that following the completion of remedial measures and the receipt of satisfactory monitoring results, that the boil water notices issued last week for Ballyragget is now lifted with immediate effect. This decision follows consultation undertaken with the Health Service Executive (HSE).  

The notice was originally issued as a precaution to protect public health following an issue of increased turbidity in the raw water source as a result of heavy rainfall. Irish Water’s operation and compliance experts worked with colleagues in Kilkenny County Council to carry out the necessary works to enable the notice to be lifted as quickly as possible.

Those consumers on the Ballyragget Public Water Supply can now resume normal use of the water supply for drinking, food preparation, and brushing teeth.

Irish Water’s Drinking Water Compliance Specialist (Environmental Regulation), Patrick Duggan said: “Irish Water and Kilkenny County Council wish 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.”

Irish Water, the Local Authority, and the Health Service Executive Water Liaison Group will continue to meet and will review ongoing process control, monitoring, and testing of the drinking water supply.

The Irish Water Customer Contact Centre (1800 278 278) is available to answer customer queries in relation to this water notice..

Irish Water and Kilkenny County Council acknowledge the patience, cooperation, and assistance of the general public during the period of the boil water notice and regrets any inconvenience caused to householders and the business community.

Previous Updates

Irish Water in partnership with Kilkenny County Council has issued a Boil Water Notice for all customers supplied by Ballyragget Public Water Supply. This notice is being issued as a precautionary measure to protect the health of approximately 1,280 customers due to increased turbidity in the raw water source caused by recent heavy rainfall. This may have compromised the disinfection process at the water treatment plant, making the water unsafe to drink.  

Areas impacted include Ballyragget and surrounding areas. Customers can check if their property is included by visiting the Water Quality section and entering the property’s Eircode or by calling the Irish Water 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.

Drinking water experts from Irish Water and Kilkenny County Council are working to rectify the turbidity issues at the treatment plant and 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 water before use until further notice.

Irish Water Operations Lead, Colin Cunningham, 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 to protect public health. We acknowledge the inconvenience caused to homes and businesses and would like to assure customers that we are working to resolve the turbidity issue and lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible."

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.

Irish Water’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 Irish Water’s enhanced testing and monitoring programme, the Health Service Executive (HSE) are 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 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;
  • 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.

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