Irish Water monitoring impact of Storm Barra on water supplies nationwide

09 December 2021

Update 9 December 2021 – 2pm – Water supply expected to be returned to all customers by this afternoon following Storm Barra

Water supply has now been restored to most areas affected by Storm Barra, with any remaining repairs expected to be completed by this afternoon. In a small number of cases the restoration of supply has been delayed by separate issues, such as pipe bursts, which are currently being repaired.

A number of precautionary Boil Water Notices which were issued following a deterioration in raw water quality as a result of the storm, remain in place. These will be reviewed over the coming days with a view to lifting the restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so, in consultation with the HSE. Separately, some Boil Water Notices which are not storm-related are also in place. For advice and details on water quality in your local area, visit our water quality section.

Tom Cuddy, Irish Water’s Head of Operations, said: “Irish Water is grateful to our customers for their patience and support as we worked to restore water supplies following Storm Barra. We would also like to thank our crews, Local Authority partners and contractors who worked tirelessly over the past two days to make the necessary repairs at plants and on the networks in order to safeguard supplies. Additionally we would like to thank the ESB and their crews for supporting the return of power to many of our plants ensuring the timely return of water services.”

The Irish Water contact centre is available 24/7 on 1800 278278 to support our customers during this time. Customers are urged to report loss of service or visible leaks to assist Irish Water to identify bursts. Live updates on outages are also available on Twitter @IWCare and on our website, www.water.ie, where customers can enter their location to get relevant local information.

Previous Updates

  • Number of supplies without water down to 11, serving approximately 10,000 customer

  • Irish Water crews making good progress in restoring remaining supplies 

  • Boil Water Notices will be reviewed in coming days with a view to lifting as soon as possible

  • Live localised updates available on supply and service section

Update 5.30pm, December 8 2021 - Irish Water is making good progress in restoring water supplies to customers around the country affected by Storm Barra over the last two days.

Water has now been restored to the majority of customers who were without supply this morning and it is expected that most of those still without water will see supply returning this evening and overnight. A number of precautionary Boil Water Not which were issued following a deterioration in raw water quality as a result of flooding, remain in place. These will be reviewed over the coming days with a view to lifting the restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so, in consultation with the HSE.

Tom Cuddy, Irish Water’s Head of Operations, said: “Irish Water’s Crisis Management team has been co-ordinating responses to the storm with staff, our Local Authority partners and contractors over the past two days. Crews have been working 24/7 around the country to make the necessary repairs at plants and on the networks and we are making good progress in restoring supplies. Alternative power supplies and generators have been deployed in some locations to get plants back into production while we are also liaising closely with the ESB to prioritise the restoration of power to plants affected by electricity outages.”

Precautionary Boil Water Notices remain in place at the following locations. 

  • Co Kerry – Aughacasla, Carragh Lake, Annascaul
  • Co Cork – Newmarket
  • Co Donegal – Glenties
  • Co Wexford – Enniscorthy

The Irish Water contact centre is available 24/7 on 1800 278278 to support our customers during this time. Customers are urged to report loss of service or visible leaks to assist Irish Water to identify bursts. Live updates on outages are also available on Twitter @IWCare and on our website, www.water.ie, where customers can enter their location to get relevant local information.

For updates on Storm Barra please visit www.gov.ie/stormbarra/.

  • 27 supplies impacted by Storm Barra affecting approximately 68,000 customers
  • Irish Water Crews working to maintain services to another 26 water supplies 
  • Cork and Kerry most severely impacted
  • Live localised updates available on supply and service section

Update 12.15pm, December 8 2021 - Irish Water is working to restore and maintain supplies following the impact of Storm Barra around the country.

The storm has impacted on plants in a number of locations due to heavy rainfall and high winds causing power outages and deterioration in the quality of raw water sources. The most severe impact is in the South-West and South-East, particularly in counties Cork, Kerry, Wexford while also impacting Donegal, Waterford, Limerick and Mayo. Some supplies are without water and a number of precautionary Boil Water Notices have been issued.

Tom Cuddy, Irish Water’s Head of Operations, said: “Irish Water’s Crisis Management team is in place co-ordinating responses to the storm with staff, our Local Authority partners and contractors. Crews have been working 24/7 around the country to make the necessary repairs at plants and on the networks when safe to do so. Alternative power supplies and generators are being moved to areas most at risk from outages to get plants back into production while we are also liaising closely with the ESB to prioritise the restoration of power to plants affected by electricity outages.”

A number of precautionary Boil Water Notices have been put in place for customers at the following locations. 

  • Co Kerry – Aughacasla, Carragh Lake, Annascaul
  • Co Cork - Newmarket
  • Co Donegal - Glenties
  • Co Wexford - Enniscorthy

The Irish Water contact centre is available 24/7 on 1800 278278 to support our customers during this time. Customers are urged to report loss of service or visible leaks to assist Irish Water to identify bursts. Live updates on outages are also available on Twitter @IWCare and on our website, www.water.ie, where customers can enter their location to get relevant local information.

For updates on Storm Barra please visit www.gov.ie/stormbarra/.

  • 40 water supplies at risk due to storm, impacting approximately 76,173 customers
  • Cork and Kerry most severely impacted to date but wider impacts likely as storm tracks northwards
  • Live localised updates available on supply and service section

Update 5.30pm, December 7 2021 - Irish Water is continuing to monitor the impact of Storm Barra on water supplies around the country and working with Local Authorities to restore water supplies impacted by the severe weather.

The storm is impacting on plants in a number of locations due to heavy rainfall and high winds causing flooding and power outages. To date the most severe impact is in the South-West and East, particularly in counties Cork and Kerry while also now impacting Wexford, Waterford and Donegal. Some supplies are without water and a number of precautionary Boil Water Notices have been issued. As the storm tracks northwards further impacts are likely in the West and North-West.

Crews have been mobilised around the country to make the necessary repairs at plants and on the networks when it is safe to do so. We are also liaising closely with the ESB to prioritise the restoration of power to plants affected by electricity outages.

Precautionary Boil Water Notices have been put in place for customers at the following locations. 

  • Co Kerry - Aughacasla and Carragh Lake
  • Co Cork - Newmarket
  • Co Donegal - Glenties
  • Co Wexford - Enniscorthy

Tom Cuddy, Irish Water’s head of Operations, said: “Irish Water is working closely with Local Authorities and other partners to ensure that the risk to service interruption is minimised during the storm and to make repairs as soon as it is safe to do so. We will continue to monitor the impact of the storm as it tracks across the country and take appropriate action to safeguard water supplies. 

“The Irish Water contact centre is available 24/7 on 1800 278278 to support our customers during this time. Customers are urged to report loss of service or visible leaks to assist Irish Water to identify bursts.

“Live updates on outages are also available on Twitter @IW_Care and on our website, www.water.ie, where customers can enter their location to get relevant local information.

For updates on Storm Barra please visit www.gov.ie/stormbarra/.

Irish Water and Longford County Council would like to remind customers supplied by Longford Central Public Water Supply that the Boil Water Notice issued on 3 November 2021 in consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE) remains in place. The Boil Water Notice was issued to protect the health of 17,500 customers following deterioration in the raw water quality which compromised the cryptosporidium barrier at the treatment plant. Areas affected include Longford Town; Newtown Forbes; Balinalee; part of Edgeworthstown; part of Drumlish; part of Killashee and surrounding areas. A map of the impacted area is attached and is also available on the Supply and Service Updates section of our website. 

Irish Water's primary focus is and always will be the protection of public health and it is essential that customers continue to boil and cool their water before consuming. As part of the process to lift the notice, Irish Water and Longford County Council are progressing with repairs onsite, flushing of the network and sampling of water supplies. Irish Water’s environmental regulator, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), carried out an audit of Lough Forbes Water Treatment Plant in line with their risk based audit programme. Irish Water and Longford County Council have identified further measures to improve filter operations at the plant and will continue to liaise with the EPA in relation to these improvement works. Irish Water would like to reassure customers that our drinking water experts are working with our colleagues in Longford County Council and in consultation with the HSE to lift the Boil Water Notice as quickly and as safely as possible. 

In line with HSE COVID-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required for handwashing.

John Gavin, Asset Operations Lead with Irish Water, has acknowledged the impact of this notice on the community and regrets the inconvenience to impacted customers, adding. “Public health is Irish Water’s number one priority and we would like to assure customers that the notice has been put in place to protect customers. We are working closely with Longford County Council to restore drinking water quality for all impacted customers and to lift the Boil Water Notice as quickly as it is safe to do so, in consultation with the HSE. 

In relation to the upgrade works at Lough Forbes Water Treatment Plant, John added: “We are also progressing with upgrades to the treatment plant which will increase capacity, provide increased resilience, and safeguard the supply in Longford for the future”. 
 
Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice and are reminded that the water is safe to consume once boiled. Those who have concerns can contact our customer care team on 1800 278 278.
 
Customers can check if they are impacted by this Boil Water Notice by visiting the Water Quality section of our website and entering their property’s Eircode in the search bar. 
 
We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.
 
Water must be boiled for:

  • 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.

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.
  • Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

Updates are available on our website including a map of the affected area, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278. Customers are advised to set their location on water.ie to view updates specific to their water supply. Further information on using water during a Boil Water Notice is available on our dedicated Boil Water Notice page