Boil Water Notice Lifted on Whiddy Island with immediate effect

21 June 2022

It is now safe to resume normal use of the water supply for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth

Irish Water, working in partnership with Cork County Council wishes to notify consumers that following the completion of remedial works and the receipt of satisfactory monitoring results, the Boil Water Notice which has been in place is now lifted with immediate effect. This decision follows consultation undertaken with the Health Service Executive.

Speaking about the lifting notice, Irish Water's Niall O’Riordan said;

On 7th September 2021, we initially had to put a Do Not Consumer Notice in place due to low water levels at raw water extraction point and high levels of colour and turbidity in the treated water causing the drinking water quality entering the Whiddy Island public water supply to be affected. This then transitioned to a Boil Water Notice. 

“A significant amount of improvement works were completed at the treatment plant, and we also engaged a specialist contractor to carry out additional works. We are now in a position to safely lift the Boil Water Notice following consultation with the HSE. We would like to thank the community of Whiddy Island for their patience and cooperation as we worked to lift the notice. All consumers on the Whiddy Island Public Water Supply Scheme can now resume normal use of the water supply for drinking, food preparation and brushing teeth."

Irish Water and the Cork County Council - Health Service Executive, Water Local Liaison Group will continue to meet and 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 the lifting of this notice. Further information is available on our website. 

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

Previous Updates

Irish Water, working in partnership and Cork County council, wish to remind customers on the Whiddy Island Public Water Supply Scheme that a Boil Water Notice remains in place. 

Niall O’Riordan, Operations Lead with Irish Water said: “A significant amount of improvement works were completed at the treatment plant, and we also engaged a specialist contractor to carry out additional works. However, following consultation with the contractor, the additional works aimed at lifting the boiled water notice have not been successful to date.

Irish Water has now begun assessing a previously drilled borehole on the island to see if it can be used as an alternative supply. Irish Water and Cork County Council continue to work to rectify the issues at the Whiddy Island Treatment Plant with a view to lifting the notice as quickly and as safely as possible. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil their water before use until further notice”.

Public health remains our number one priority and we would like to thank the people of Whiddy Island for their patience and cooperation throughout. 

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.

Vulnerable 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;
  • 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.

Irish Water is working closely with Cork County Council to lift the notice as soon as it is safe to do so. Updates will be 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. Further information is available on the Boil Water Notice section of our website.

Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.

Irish Water, working in partnership and Cork County council, wish to notify customers on the Whiddy Island Public Water Supply Scheme that it is now being placed on a Boil Water Notice following intermediary works. The water supply scheme has been on a Do Not Consume Notice since 7 September and this transition to a Boil Water Notice follows consultation with the Health Services Executive and will be in place until further notice.

This means that customers can now consume water, but it must be boiled before use.  

The notice was originally issued due to low water levels at the raw water extraction point which resulted in a prolonged period of high levels of colour and turbidity in the treated water. This caused the drinking water quality entering the Whiddy Island public water supply to be affected.

Niall O’Riordan of Irish Water said: “A significant amount of improvement works were completed at the treatment plant on the island, which has resulted in improved water quality but unfortunately turbidity still remains higher than acceptable. However, this has put us in a better position and has allowed us to transition into a Boil Water Notice.

In an effort to further escalate and address the issues, Irish Water has engaged a specialist contractor to carry out additional works.

It is hard for us to put a time frame on when we may be able to lift the Boil Water Notice, but we are hopeful that this can be achieved in March once the additional works are complete and subject to water quality sampling results. 

Public health remains our number one priority. We would like to thank the people of Whiddy Island for their patience and cooperation throughout and wish to remind everyone that water can be consumed but it must be boiled before use.

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.

Vulnerable 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;
  • 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.

Irish Water is working closely with Cork County Council to lift the notice as soon as it is safe to do so. Updates will be 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. Further information is available on the Boil Water Notice section of our website.

Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Cork County Council, wish to remind customer on the Whiddy Island Public Water Supply that the Do Not Consumer Notice issued on 7 September remains in place until further notice. 

The notice was issued due to low water levels at the raw water extraction point which resulted in a prolonged period of high levels of colour and turbidity in the treated water. This caused the drinking water quality entering the Whiddy Island public water supply to be affected.

Neil Smyth of Irish Water said: “A significant amount of improvement works on-site have now been completed. Final commissioning is ongoing and will be completed over the coming days. A programme of water quality sampling will soon be underway to determine whether the Do Not Consume notice can be lifted or if further remediation works will be needed.

Public health remains our number one priority. We would like to thank the people of Whiddy Island for their patience and cooperation throughout this Do Not Consume Notice, especially as it was ongoing over the Christmas season. I would like to remind everyone that bottled water remains available at ‘The Bankhouse’ on the island.

Water must not be used 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.

You may use 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.
  • If you have pets and are concerned about the impact of providing mains water while this Do Not Consume Notice is in place, you should ask your local vet for advice.
  • Only use Prepared/ Bottled Water when preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing and preparing salads)

Preparing Infant Formula:

  • Where a Do Not Consume Notice is in place, you can prepare infant formula from bottled water. 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.
  • If you are boiling bottled water to prepare infant formula, care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds. Accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

Updates will be available on www.water.ie at the Supply and Service Updates section, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278. Customers can also set the location feature on water.ie for localised information about their water supply.

Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE) Irish Water, working in partnership with Cork County Council, has issued a Do Not Consume Notice for consumers on the Whiddy Island Public Water Supply. The notice was issued due to low water levels at raw water extraction point and high levels of colour and turbidity in the treated water causing the drinking water quality entering the Whiddy Island public water supply to be affected.

The notice applies to approximately 30 customers and is effective immediately. It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle fed infants. Please note that this is not a Boil Water Notice, i.e. boiling and cooling your water will not make it safe to drink.

Bottled water is being made available at “The Bankhouse”.

Irish Water drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Cork County Council to resolve this situation as soon as possible. Further updates will be issued early next week.

Speaking about the imposition of the notice, Tommy Roche, 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 like to thank customers in advance for their patience and cooperation and advise any customers who have concerns to contact our customer care team on 1800 278 278.

Water must not be used 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.
  • You may use 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.
  • If you have pets and are concerned about the impact of providing mains water while this Do Not Consume Notice is in place, you should ask your local vet for advice.
  • Only use Prepared/ Bottled Water when preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing and preparing salads)

Preparing Infant Formula:

  • Where a Do Not Consume Notice is in place, you can prepare infant formula from bottled water. 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.
  • If you are boiling bottled water to prepare infant formula, care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds. Accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

Updates will be 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. Customers can also set the location feature on our website for localised information about their water supply.