Do Not Consume notice lifted for customers on the Shannon/Sixmilebridge Public Water Supply

17 August 2021

The notice was issued to protect customers following elevated levels of manganese in the water supply

Irish Water confirms that, following consultation and agreement with the HSE, the Do Not Consume notice impacting customers on the Shannon/Sixmilebridge Public Water Supply, has been lifted with immediate effect. The notice was issued to protect approximately 7,500 customers following elevated levels of manganese in the water supply.

Irish Water and Clare County Council’s drinking water compliance and operational teams worked to resolve the situation as quickly and as safely as possible.

An intensive programme of flushing, reservoir cleaning and water quality sampling has been undertaken to allow this notice to be lifted following consultation with the HSE. Irish Water are working to identify and implement further improvement measures which will reduce the risk of a similar issues occurring in the future

Duane O’Brien, Irish Water, said: “Irish Water acknowledges and understands the impact this Do Not Consume Notice had on the communities on the Shannon/SIxmilebridge Water Supply and we sincerely regret the inconvenience. Our drinking water compliance and operational experts worked hard to resolve this issue as quickly and as safely as possible and we endeavoured to keep stakeholders updated at every stage of the process. We are grateful to the media, elected representatives and members of the public who shared the information. We would also like to thank Clare County Council and HSE for their input and support throughout the process."

“Should customers have any queries regarding this Do Not Consume notice and the lifting of it they should contact Irish Water directly on our customer care helpline, open 24/7, on 1800 278 278 or on Twitter @IWCare. For water supply updates please visit our Supply and Service Updates section.”

Previous Updates

Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE) Irish Water, working in partnership with Clare County Council, has issued a Do Not Consume Notice for consumers on the Shannon/Sixmilebridge Public Water Supply due to elevated levels of manganese. The notice applies to approximately 7,500 customers. It does not apply to customers in Shannon, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Bunratty.

View the notice here.

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.

Group Water Supply Schemes affected by this notice:

  • Deerpark
  • Cappa Rossmanagher
  • Cloughlea
  • Ballycar
  • Ballymulcashel/Kilmurry
  • Feenagh
  • Castlequarter
  • Castlecrine
  • Einagh
  • Bayymarkham
  • Caherkine
  • Knocknagoug
  • Cullane
  • Portdrine

Alternative supplies

Tankered water will be in place at the following locations 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. Please adhere to social distancing when queuing for water supplies.

  • Cratloe: Adjacent to the school
  • Sixmilebridge: Adjacent to the church
  • Kilmurry: Adjacent to the church
  • Kilkishen Adjacent to the school
  • Quin: Adjacent to the school

Irish Water drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Clare 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, Duane O’Brien, 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.”

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

Business customers

Business customers will receive a 40 per cent rebate on the cost of the supply of water to their businesses for the duration of the Do Not Consume Notice.

Updates

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

 

Irish Water is in receipt of water quality sampling results which are showing elevated levels of manganese in the Shannon/Sixmilebridge regional water supply scheme.

Affected areas

This scheme serves the areas shown on the attached map and includes Shannon, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Sixmilebridge, Kilmurry, Cratloe, Quin, Kilkishen and surrounding areas including group water schemes

This may be observed as a cloudy appearance to water coming from the cold kitchen tap. 

Irish Water is carrying out further sampling of the water supply. Irish Water are in consultation with the HSE in relation to this issue. Please note that high manganese levels in drinking water can be a risk to health. Some groups in the population are more vulnerable such as babies in the womb, infants and young children - see the attached “Frequently asked questions Information Note from HSE”.

Irish Water will notify local customers of any additional advice in relation to their local water supply. Further updates will be issued over the weekend.

Details will also be provided via our customer contact centre at 1800 278 278.

 

What is Manganese?

Manganese occurs naturally in the environment and is also found in many foods in the diet (e.g. vegetables, tea). It also occurs naturally in some water sources and is removed during water treatment process. Manganese is an essential element and is required by mammals and birds for normal growth. Most divalent compounds are soluble in water, as is heptavalent permanganate. The most common tetravalent compound, Manganese Dioxide, is insoluble. Manganese is principally used in the manufacture of iron, steel and alloys. In the Drinking Water Regulations it is defined as an Indicator parameter.

What is an exceedance for Manganese?

The limit designated in the EU drinking water directive for Manganese is 50µg/l. Therefore any result above this level is an exceedance for manganese.

How can an exceedance for Manganese occur?

Manganese exceedances in a drinking water supply may point to pollution of the source water although some exceedances arise from naturally-occurring high levels at source.

How is an exceedance for Manganese dealt with? 

All Exceedances of drinking water parameters are reported to the EPA and also the HSE where necessary. Drinking water parameter exceedances are fully investigated to determine the cause and appropriate corrective actions are implemented.