Following consultation with the Health Service Executive today, Irish Water working in partnership with Sligo County Council advise that the boil water notice for the area supplied by the Lough Talt Public Water Supply will remain in place on the advice of the HSE as we continue to carry out monitoring and sampling of the supply.
Boil water notice remain in place until cryptosporidium has expired
The boil water notice was put in place on February 5 following a detection of cryptosporidium during routine sampling at the water treatment plant. An increased continuous weekly sampling plan was implemented and a further five detections of cryptosporidium were found both at the plant and in the supply network. The HSE were consulted on the additional detections and advised the BWN remain in place until after the high risk cryptosporidium season expired. Continued weekly sampling has been taking place on the supply since the BWN was first issued on February 5th. Zero detections have been recorded since March 7th, representing 15 successive weeks of clear sampling through the high risk cryptosporidium season.
The HSE have informed Irish Water they are investigating reported cases of cryptosporidiosis in the community and while the source of transmission is unclear at this point, in the interest of public health the HSE advised that the notice should continue for the remainder of June and July. Sampling will continue during this time and all results will be reviewed by the relevant stakeholders at the next consultation with the HSE on July 30th.
No longer in effect in the Bellaghy area following a new connection
Since last month, the Boil Water Notice is no longer in effect in the Bellaghy area following the completion of a new connection to allow this area to be supplied from the Charlestown public water supply. Approximately 450 customers were removed from the boil water notice in Bellaghy, Sandyhill, Cloonaughill, Cully, the southern 80% part of Bunnacrannagh, Brackloonagh, Brogher, Lissard, and Curryfuel. All customers in the Bunnacrannagh area who were removed from the Boil Water Notice have been contacted by Irish Water directly to confirm this. The remaining customers in Bunnacrannagh and the other areas supplied from Lough Talt should continue to boil their water before use.
The level of treatment currently provided at the Lough Talt water treatment plant does not provide adequate protection against cryptosporidium. We are advising customers that in the absence of a validated cryptosporidium barrier there is a risk of further cryptosporidium detections in the supply.
2015 Planning Application
In 2015, We have proposed to construct a water treatment plant downstream of the existing water treatment plant site but was refused planning permission by Sligo County Council and subsequently on appeal by An Bord Pleanála. The 2015 application was refused permission because An Bord Pleanála could not exclude the possibility that the development, in combination with the abstraction from Lough Talt, would adversely affect the Lough Hoe Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the River Moy SAC (within which Lough Talt is located). We have prepared a revised planning application for the provision of an emergency water treatment plant to address the absence of an effective crypto barrier, but also to provide mitigation against the formation of Trihalomethanes (THMs).
The Lough Talt supply is currently on the EPA’s Remedial Action List (RAL) for both cryptosporidium and THM risk. The emergency plant is to be built on the existing site and Irish Water has lodged the revised planning application with Sligo County Council on May 28th.
Seamus Granahan, Regional Asset Operations Manager from Irish Water said: “We fully recognise the disruption and inconvenience caused to customers as a result of this Boil Water Notice and would like to assure the public that we are working as a matter of priority to restore a safe and compliant water supply as quickly as possible, in consultation with the HSE.
“Public health is our number one priority and ultimately our aim is to provide compliant and robust water treatment for the 13,000 people who are supplied by the Lough Talt public water supply in the shortest possible time and that is where our attentions are focused. “Irish Water and Sligo County Council sincerely apologise to all customers for any inconvenience caused by this Boil Water Notice.”
Irish Water and Sligo County Council regret the inconvenience this boil water notice has had on businesses and residents and would like to thank all customers for their continued co-operation during the period of the notice. Business customers will receive a 40% rebate most likely reflected in their next bill, on the cost of the supply of water to their businesses for the duration of the boil water notice.
Once boiled the water is safe to consume.
Customers are reminded to continue to boil water before consumption including the washing of teeth, making of ice and in the preparation of food that is not cooked. It is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice.
Water must be boiled for:
- 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
- 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. Bottled water can 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.
Great care should be taken with boiled water
Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.
For more information and additional advice, visit our Boil Water Notice information page. You can also call our customer care helpline on 1850 278 278.