Friday, 8 September, 2023: Uisce Éireann, in partnership with Clare County Council, is progressing with works to lift the Boil Water Notice in place for customers supplied by O’Brien’s Bridge Public Water Supply.
The notice, issued on 25 August to protect public health, remains in place due to an issue with disinfection at the plant. The areas affected include O’Brien’s Bridge, Montpellier, Bridgetown and surrounding villages.
While drinking water experts from Uisce Éireann and Clare County Council are working to rectify the issues at the treatment plant, all customers on this supply are advised consumers to boil and cool their water before drinking.
Uisce Éireann’s primary focus is and always will be the protection of public health. Drinking water experts from Uisce Éireann and Clare County Council are working, in consultation with the HSE, to implement solutions to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible. In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil and cool their water before use until further notice.
Uisce Eireann’s Darragh Conneely acknowledged the impact of this notice on the community.
“Public health is Uisce Éireann’s number one priority and we would like to assure customers that the notice has been put in place to protect public health. We have carried out works at the plant in recent days including upgrading UV equipment. Additional sampling and analysis is now underway and upon receipt of satisfactory results, we will consult with the HSE on lifting the notice. We appreciate the impact that this notice is having on the community and thank them for their patience.”
Uisce Éireann’s drinking water standards, as per EU Drinking Water regulations, are strict and include wide safety margins. Where risks to water quality are identified through Uisce Éireann’s enhanced testing and monitoring programme, the Health Service Executive (HSE) is consulted, and Boil Water Notices are issued to protect public health. In all instances immediate action is taken to address the cause of the issue to enable the lifting of the notice as quickly as it safe to do so, in agreement with the HSE.
Vulnerable customers who have registered with Uisce Éireann receive direct communication on Boil Water Notices. Customers are reminded that the water is safe to consume once boiled.
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;
- Preparing Infant Formula: 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. 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.
Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.