Do Not Consume Notice remains in place for Inishbofin Public Water Supply Scheme

16 September 2022

Irish Water and Galway County Council would like to remind customers supplied by the Inishbofin Public Water Supply Scheme that the Do Not Consume Notice issued in consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), remains in place. 

The notice, arising due to elevated levels of manganese, has been put in place to protect the health of a population of approximately 156 customers. Elevated levels were likely due to extremely low water levels in Lough Fawna (lake) after a prolonged period of dry weather.

It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle fed infants.

Please note this is not a Boil Water Notice. Boiling the water will not reduce manganese levels and is therefore not a suitable measure to make the water safe to consume. 

Tankered water is being made available on the island, near the pier, to provide an alternative water supply to customers. Customers are reminded to use their own containers when taking water from the tanker and to boil water before consumption as a precautionary measure.

Irish Water drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Galway County Council to resolve this situation as soon as possible. 

Speaking about the imposition of the notice, Rónan Daly, Operations Lead with Irish Water said “Irish Water is aware of the impact a Do Not Consume Notice has on the community and would like to reassure impacted customers that we are working hard to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible. 

“A specialist contractor has replaced components of the filtration process which have become compromised as a result of the poor raw water quality. We are also adjusting the treatment processes at the plant and conducting extensive testing to ensure the treated water meets the required standard. A sustained period of rainfall will also be required over a number of weeks to increase the levels in the source lake which should also improve the quality of the raw water. We would ask customers who have concerns to contact our customer care team on 1800 278 278.”

This water should not be used for

  • Drinking
  • Drinks made with water
  • Food preparation, washing or cooking of food,
  • Brushing of teeth
  • Making of ice
  • Children under 12 months old should not drink this water
  • In particular, children under 12 months old should not drink this water. This water should not be used for making up infant formula for bottled fed infants. An alternative source of water should be used. 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.
  • Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink
  • Caution should be taken when bathing infants to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water
  • Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges

What can you use water for?

  • The water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils


Irish Water and Galway County Council will continue to liaise with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting this drinking water restriction as soon as practicable.

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

Previous Updates

Due to elevated levels of manganese in the Inishbofin Public Water Supply and following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), Irish Water and Galway County Council issued a Do Not Consume Notice on the 3rd of September to protect the health of all consumers on this scheme. Elevated levels were likely due to extremely low water levels in Lough Fawna (lake) after a prolonged period of dry weather. Following investigations onsite, Irish Water and Galway County Council advise that elevated manganese levels may have occurred prior to the imposition of the Do Not Consume notice and that water from the public supply was potentially not meeting regulatory standards from the 11th of August 2022.

Irish Water have consulted extensively with the HSE and the advice for anyone who may have consumed the water from the public supply from the 11th of August onwards and has health concerns, is to contact their GP for advice. Further information is also contained in a HSE bulletin being shared directly with all residents.

Drinking water will generally become unpalatable (discoloured with an unpleasant taste) at levels above 50 µg/l which will deter you from drinking it. Boiling the water will not make it safe to consume.

Use another water source when:

  • Drinking water, including filtered water or drinks made from water
  • Brushing your teeth or gargling with water
  • Making ice (throw away existing ice cubes)
  • Preparing foods you don't cook, such as salads or fruit
  • Giving drinking water to pets

You can continue to use tap water when you:

  • Shower
  • Bath
  • Flush the toilet

Tankered and bottled water is being made available on the island, on the old pier, and supplies will be replenished twice weekly for as long as required. Customers are reminded to use their own containers when taking water from the tanker and to boil the water before consumption as a precautionary measure.

Irish Water would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused and our drinking water compliance team and operational experts are working with colleagues in Galway County Council to resolve this situation as soon as possible. A specialist contractor has arrived on site today to replace components of the filtration process which have become compromised as a result of the poor raw water quality. Irish Water are also adjusting the treatment processes at the plant and conducting extensive testing to ensure the treated water meets the required standard.

A sustained period of rainfall will be required over a number of weeks to increase the levels in the source lake which should also improve the quality of the raw water. The Do Not Consume Notice will only be lifted once we are fully satisfied the treatment process is consistently producing safe and compliant drinking water.

Irish Water’s customer care team is available on 1800 278 278 for any queries you might have.

Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), Irish Water, working in partnership with Galway County Council, has issued a Do Not Consume Notice for all consumers on the Inishbofin Public Water Supply Scheme due to elevated levels of manganese. The notice applies to approximately 156 customers  supplied by the Inishbofin Public Water Supply Scheme.

It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle fed infants.

Please note this is not a Boil Water Notice. Boiling the water will not reduce manganese levels and is therefore not a suitable measure to make the water safe to consume. This notice does not apply to other areas and water schemes in Galway. 

Tankered water is being made available on the island, near the pier, to provide an alternative water supply to customers. Customers are reminded to use their own containers when taking water from the tanker and to boil water before consumption as a precautionary measure.

Irish Water drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Galway County Council to resolve this situation as soon as possible. 

Speaking about the imposition of the notice, Rónan Daly, Operations Lead with Irish Water said “Irish Water is aware of the impact a Do Not Consume Notice has on the community and would like to reassure impacted customers that we are working hard to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible. We would ask customers who have concerns to contact our customer care team on 1800 278 278.”

This water should not be used for

  • Drinking
  • Drinks made with water
  • Food preparation, washing or cooking of food,
  • Brushing of teeth
  • Making of ice
  • Children under 12 months old should not drink this water
  • In particular, children under 12 months old should not drink this water. This water should not be used for making up infant formula for bottled fed infants. An alternative source of water should be used. 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.
  • Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink
  • Caution should be taken when bathing infants to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water
  • Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges

What can you use water for?

  • The water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils
  • Irish Water and Galway County Council will continue to liaise with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting this drinking water restriction as soon as practicable.

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