12 September 2016 Go back to News
Lough Mask Regional Water Supply Scheme update
Irish Water, Mayo County Council and the HSE would like to remind customers supplied with water from the Lough Mask Regional Water Supply Scheme and associated Group Water Schemes that the boil water notice which was issued on the scheme on Friday, September 2nd, remains in place and the public are urged to continue boiling their water before drinking and for use in food preparation.
The Incident Management Team which comprises members of Irish Water, Mayo County Council and the HSE convened a meeting over the weekend to consider the Environmental Protection Agency’s written report following an audit of the Lough Mask Water Treatment Plant on Tuesday, September 6th.
All elements of the report were considered and the team accept the findings which mirror the results of the extensive investigations to date. The report stated that significant improvements to the filtration management and control had been made since the treatment plant was previously audited in May 2015. It also stated that there was no evidence of filter breakthrough during the two weeks prior to the date of the cryptosporidium detection.
All recommendations made in the report are being actioned by the Incident Management Team. The EPA’s report will be available to view today here.
Since the positive result was detected on Friday September 2nd, daily sampling at the source at the treatment plant and on the network has not identified any further presence of cryptosporidium. However, in the interest of public health all agencies involved will continue to work through the process. The sampling programme and investigations continued throughout the weekend and during the incubation period and a further update will be issued this week.
Throughout this period people are urged to continue to boil water for drinking and before use in food preparation.
The incident continues to be given priority status by all agencies involved and the Incident Management Team would like to thank the public for their continued patience and understanding.
All vulnerable customers who self-registered with Irish Water have been contacted by telephone.
46,500 people who are supplied from the Lough Mask Water Treatment Plant and associated group water schemes are reminded that:
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.
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.
Anyone suffering from diarrhoea for more than two days should contact their general practitioner and provide a stool sample for testing. They should continue to drink plenty of boiled or bottled water.
Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.
A map of the affected area is available here and anyone with queries can contact the Irish Water helpline on 1850 278 278.
Irish Water and Mayo County Council are urging the public to continue to follow the advice of the HSE and boil water before consumption.
Public health is the priority for all agencies involved and Irish Water and Mayo County Council would like to apologise for the inconvenience this has caused to families, businesses and the agricultural community.