Skip to main content

Water is safe to drink as specialist testing identifies cause of taste and odour in drinking water

Geosmin is a naturally occurring compound and is not harmful to health

Uisce Éireann can confirm that specialist results received today following ongoing testing of the Raw Water for the drinking water supplying customers in Athy, Newbridge, Kildare, Kilmeague, Robertstown, Allenwood, Blackwood, Prosperous, Derrinturn and surrounding areas has indicated the presence of low levels of a naturally occurring substance called Geosmin.

While Geosmin can result in some people detecting an earthy, musty smell and taste from their drinking water, it is not harmful to human health.

Geosmin is a naturally occurring organic substance produced by algae found in lakes, rivers, streams, and reservoirs. It can be smelled at very low concentrations. Seasonal increases in naturally occurring algae or bacteria in water sources can cause a rise in Geosmin levels above the taste and odour threshold for some people.

Uisce Éireann can confirm that drinking water microbiological and chemical analysis carried out on water produced at our water treatment plants serving Co Kildare is compliant with drinking water regulations. Water produced at our treatment plants is tested daily in conjunction with extensive monitoring in the distribution network and is safe to drink.

Speaking about the detection of Geosmin in the drinking water, Kevin Love, Regional Asset Operations Lead at Uisce Éireann said "Our primary focus is the protection of public health and we would like to reassure customers that the water coming from the drinking water plants serving Co Kildare is safe to drink."

Kevin added, "We understand the concerns raised by some customers in relation to the smell or taste of their drinking water. While the smell and taste can be unpleasant for some customers, Geosmin is not toxic or harmful and the water remains safe to drink. As a precaution, we have increased testing on these supplies and are keeping the situation under close review."

Further information on Geosmin and drinking water quality can be found on our dedicated drinking water quality section on the Unusual Taste or Smell page.

Customers with queries or concerns about the quality of their drinking water should contact the Uisce Éireann customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 or via Twitter @IWCare.

Uisce Éireann is responsible for delivering public drinking water and wastewater services for the people of Ireland. We are committed to enabling communities to thrive by continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support sustainable growth and development, providing safe drinking water, and enhancing the environment. To find out more visit the Uisce Éireann website.

Get in touch

Follow us on social media or a give us a call.