Update 03 December 2019 - Boil Water Notice still in place for Whitegate (Dower) Regional Water Supply Scheme

Irish Water and Cork County Council, in consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), issued a Boil Water Notice for the area supplied by the Whitegate (Dower) Regional Water Supply Scheme to protect approximately 9,500 people on 27 November 2019.

Elevated levels of turbidity were detected in the water at Kilva Water Treatment Plant, which led to automatic shut down of the plant. In order to bring water back into production at the plant and supply the network, it was necessary to issue the boil water notice. Our specialist teams continue to investigate the cause of this turbidity and are working to commission an additional treatment process at the plant in response to this. Turbidity is a measure of the concentration of particles in the water and is an indication of an issue with water quality.

Boil water until further notice

Irish Water and Cork County Council are working to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are reminded to continue to boil water before use until further notice.

Neil Smyth, Irish Water Operations Lead said “We are investigating the root cause and working to find solutions to the problem at the treatment plant in Kilva. We would like to remind all of those on the Whitegate/Dower Regional Water Supply Scheme to continue to boil their water at this time. Protecting public health is our absolute priority. We will continue to provide regular updates as we work to safeguard water supply to all of the homes and businesses affected."

More information

Additional information and advice is available on our Boil Water Notices page or by calling Irish Water’s 24-hour customer care line at 1850 278 278. Updates are available at Water Supply Updates.

Notice issued following a recent drinking water quality test

Following advice from the Health Service Executive, Irish Water and Cork County Council have issued a Boil Water Notice for the area supplied by the Whitegate Public Water Supply to protect approximately 9,500 people following a recent drinking water quality test.

The Boil Water Notice has been put in place as a precautionary measure due an issue with the filtration process at the plant.

Working to resolve this situation as soon as possible

Irish Water and Cork County Council are working to resolve this situation as soon as possible. In the meantime, all customers of this supply are advised to boil water before use until further notice. View map of affected areas.

Neil Smyth, Irish Water Operations Lead said “We wish to apologise to the homes and businesses impacted by this Boil Water Notice. There have been previous water quality issues on this supply and we acknowledge the significant inconvenience this causes. We would like to assure the public that we are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Our priority is the provision of safe, clean drinking water and protecting public health."


You can view more information about Boil Water Notices below, and on our Boil Water Notice page, or by calling our 24-hour customer care line at 1850 278 278. Updates are available on our Water Supply Updates section and on Twitter @IWCare.

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.



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