This drinking water restriction has been put in place to protect public health.

Irish Water and Cavan County Council have issued a Do Not Drink drinking water restriction on the Ballyhaise public water supply in Co Cavan effective immediately, on the advice of the HSE.

Restriction has now been put in place following advice from HSE

This drinking water restriction has been put in place to protect public health following a nitrite exceedance in the water supply. The issue was detected following water sampling which showed elevated nitrite levels in the supply. Monitoring and testing will continue to take place and a further update will be issued shortly.

The HSE has issued the following advice:

  • Use bottled water for drinking and cooking,
  • Limit water usage to bathing and showering only. Water should not be ingested.
  • Do not boil the water to get rid of nitrites – this will actually increase the concentration of chemicals in the water.

This water should not be used for:

  • drinking, 
  • drinks made with water, 
  • food preparation, washing or cooking of food, 
  • brushing of teeth, or 
  • making of ice,  
  • making up infant formula for bottled fed infants
  • In particular, pregnant women should not drink this water

Water should not be used for infant formula

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. 
The water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils, however, if you are experiencing skin irritation you may wish to avoid using water for showering or bathing or washing clothes.

Caution should be taken with children

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. All prepared drinks, foods, and baby foods which contain water from the network should be discarded.

Vulnerable customers will be contacted directly 

Irish Water expects that the issue will be resolved in the coming days and in the meantime customers must not ingest the water until further notice. Vulnerable customers on this supply who have self-registered with Irish Water will be contacted directly.

Alternative water supplies

Tankered water will be available on the Cavan Road at St Mary’s R.C. Church and at The Square in Ballyhaise Village. Irish Water make every effort to ensure that the alternative drinking water supply provided, including the tanker/bowser, and dispensing tap, are adequately disinfected.

However, as it is not practical to provide sterilised containers for the public to transport drinking water from the tanker to their homes, we cannot guarantee that any containers used by the public do not negatively impact or contaminate the drinking water.

Precautionary measure should be taken

Therefore, as a precautionary measure, it is recommended that any members of the public who obtain water from a tanker or bowser boil the water before use.

Leaflets advising customers of the Do Not Drink notice will be hand delivered to properties in the impacted area by Cavan County Council staff.

Irish Water is working with Cavan County Council and the HSE to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Our priority at this time is to safeguard the public drinking water supply and public health. Irish Water and Cavan County Council apologise for the inconvenience caused by this restriction and thank customers for their patience while both organisations liaise with the HSE to remove the notice as quickly as possible.

For more information and additional advice, please call Irish Water’s 24-hour customer care helpline on 1850 278 278.


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