Upgrades to provide safe drinking water supply for 13,000 customers

Works to upgrade the Lough Talt water treatment plant have recommenced and Irish Water, working in partnership with Sligo County Council is confident that this essential project will be complete by the end of 2020. A safe and secure supply of water will be delivered to the 13,000 people on this scheme upon completion of these works.

BWN remains in place

While the upgrade works are continuing the public are reminded that the Boil Water Notice on the scheme remains in place. The current Lough Talt water treatment plant does not provide adequate treatment for protection against cryptosporidium and needs to be upgraded. The risk of further detections remains high without a validated barrier against cryptosporidium. This can result in severe illness if the public do not boil their water before consumption.

The Lough Talt water supply is included on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL), because the existing water treatment plant does not provide sufficient protection against cryptosporidium and trihalomethanes (THM). 

Commenting, John McElwaine, Irish Water explained “Public health is our number one priority and it is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice which remains in place. Irish Water is committed to safeguarding the treated water supplied from the Lough Talt Regional Water Supply for the future and would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience they are experiencing due to the current boil water notice.

“We would like to once again thank the public for their continued cooperation and patience while we work to deliver this much-needed upgrade which we are confident will be complete by the end of 2020.”

Areas affected by notice

Approximately 13,000 people are affected by the Boil Water Notice including the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote and a large rural hinterland including the villages of Annagh, Aclare, Curry, Lavagh, Ballanacarrow, Carrowneden, Kilmacteige and Coolaney.

The boil water notice also includes consumers supplied by the Ogham Group Water Scheme and Cloontia, Doocastle and Quarryfield in Co Mayo.

The boil water notice is no longer in effect in the Bellaghy area following a connection which allowed this area to be supplied from the Charlestown public water supply. This connection removed 488 customers from the boil water notice in Bellaghy, Sandyhill, Cloonaughill, Cully, the southern 80 per cent part of Bunnacrannagh, Brackloonagh, Brogher, Lissard, and Curryfuel.

Rebate on costs

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 boil water notice and this will be back dated to February 5, 2018.

The HSE has advised that the tap water is safe to use for personal hygiene such as handwashing, bathing and flushing of toilets and the public is urged to continue frequent handwashing in line with HSE Covid-19 advice.

Irish Water would like to assure customers that we are working at this time with our local authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of drinking water and wastewater services.

More information

Updates are available on the Water Supply Updates section on our website, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline open 24/7 on 1850 278 278. Further information on Boil Water Notices can be found on our Boil Water Notice page.

  • Drinking 
  • 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
  • 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
  • When boiling water
    • 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
  • Where a Boil Water Notice is in place, you can prepare infant formula from tap water that has been boiled once (rolling boil for 1 minute) and cooled beforehand
  • Prepare infant feeds with tap water that has been brought to the boil once and cooled. Do not use water that has been re-boiled several times.
  • Bottled water can also be used to make up infant formula but if it is used it should be boiled once and cooled. 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.
  • Ready-to-use formula that does not need added water can also be used.
  • Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

To be on the safe side, it is a good idea to boil the water and let it cool before giving to your pet.

A Boil Water Notice is imposed to protect human health. If you have concerns regarding your animals drinking water that is subject to a Boil Water Notice then you should consult your Vet. Outdoor animals, such as cattle and horses, are exposed to bacteria on a daily basis vastly in excess of that experienced by humans.

All water intended for human consumption should be boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute and cooled before it is used to make hot drinks.

The BWN was imposed on a precautionary basis. However if you are feeling unwell you should consult your GP.

Yes, please put your dishwasher on the highest temperature setting, and let the dishes dry before use.

Most filters are designed to improve the taste and odour of water and not remove harmful bacteria. Check the manual or contact the manufacturer for more information. If in doubt, you should boil your water or use bottled water.

During the short time your water supply is interrupted most central heating systems can be used. However, if you are unsure please refer to your manufacturer’s guide or check with a heating professional.

Consult your local GP for medical advice.

It is recommended that if it is a large open wound or if you are immuno-compromised, apply a waterproof bandage to the wound or take a sponge bath. Seek medical advice for further information.

Using water during a Boil Water Notice

Sligo

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