Homes and businesses across North Inishowen have been placed under a Boil Water Notice due to concerns over contaminated water supply.
Uisce Eireann says “operational issues” led to the Notice, which was issued in consultation with the HSE to protect the health of up to 9,000 consumers served by the ‘Inishowen West’ and ‘Carndonagh Mixed’ public water supplies.
The areas impacted include Carndonagh, Gleneely, Malin, Clonmany, Ballyliffin, Urris, Glenmakee Public Group Water Scheme and surrounding areas.
It is understood that a problem arose at Clonmany’s Mindoran treatment plant, where a pump supplying vital chemicals into the water malfunctioned, leaving the supply vulnerable to harmful bacteria as a consequence.
Since water from the huge Mindoran supply [West Inishowen] fills into the nearby Carn reservoir, the problem has also affected the main Carndonagh supply.
Those under the Boil Water Notice are advised that their water is NOT safe to drink until it has first been boiled.
Water must also be boiled and cooled for brushing teeth and the preparation of salads and similar foods, which must be washed before eating.
Ice cubes should be made from cooled boiled water, while ice cubes in fridges and filtered water in fridges should be discarded.
Water may be used as normal for personal hygiene, bathing, showers and flushing of toilets [but not for brushing teeth or gargling], while caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow any bath water. ‘Public health our priority’
Uisce Eireann [formerly Irish Water] says its primary focus is and always will be the protection of public health.
The national utility told the Inishowen Independent that drinking water experts from Uisce Eireann and Donegal County Council are working to implement solutions to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible in consultation with the HSE.
They added: “In the meantime, all customers on this supply are advised to boil and cool their water before use until further notice.”
Uisce Éireann’s Seamus O’Brien acknowledged the impact of this notice on the community and regrets the inconvenience it has caused.
He said: “Public health is our number one priority, and we are working closely with Donegal 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, and in consultation with the HSE.”
“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 our enhanced testing and monitoring programme, the HSE are consulted and Boil Water Notices are issued to protect public health.”