8 September 2016 Go back to News
Lough Mask Regional Water Supply Scheme Boil Water Notice update
Irish Water and Mayo County Council 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 use in food preparation and drinking.
Immediately following the issuing of the boil water notice on Friday night last, a comprehensive action plan was put in place by the Incident Management Team and this action plan is currently being worked through.
A full and comprehensive audit of the Lough Mask Water Treatment Plant was conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday (Tuesday, September 6th). Representatives from Irish Water, Mayo County Council and the Health Service Executive (HSE) were present at the audit.
The EPA requested additional information which was forwarded to them this morning. We await the final report which is expected by the end of this week or early next week at the latest. This along with the results of the comprehensive sampling process will give us more clarity on the timelines for the lifting of the boil water notice which is a priority for all agencies involved.
Sampling and testing is a part of the entire action plan being undertaken by Irish Water, Mayo County Council and the HSE. This boil water notice and subsequent investigation is due to the detection of cryptosporidium in a sample of water taken on August 31st.
“To date Irish Water has not identified any issue that could be directly associated with the failed sample,” explained Irish Water’s Regional Information Specialist Sean Corrigan. “But investigations are continuing at the plant and throughout the network. Irish Water, Mayo County Council and the HSE are treating this as a priority and at every level these organisations are working to find a speedy resolution to this incident,” he added.
Irish Water, Mayo County Council and the HSE are in constant communication and continue to meet regularly. An incident management team was set up on Friday and comprises members from each of those authorities.
All priority customers who 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.