Reminder of ‘do not consume’ notice for Whiddy water

December 10th, 2021 5:02 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

Boiling will not make the water safe for consumption.

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IRISH Water, working in partnership with Cork County Council, has reminded customers on the Whiddy Island water supply that the Do Not Consume notice issued on September 7th remains in place until further notice.

Irish Water said the notice was issued due to low water levels at the raw water extraction point and high levels of colour and turbidity in the treated water causing the drinking water quality entering the Whiddy Island public water supply to be affected.

The notice applies to approximately 30 customers. ‘It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle-fed infants. Please note that this is not a boil water notice, as boiling and cooling your water will not make it safe to drink,’ it added.

Bottled water remains available at the Bankhouse bar and restaurant on the island.

Irish Water drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Cork County Council to resolve this situation as soon as possible. Further updates will be issued early next week.

Neil Smyth of Irish Water said: ‘Additional treatment stages have been installed and commissioned at the Whiddy Island Water Treatment Plant to deal with the water quality issues caused by high levels of turbidity, iron and manganese in the raw water. Since its installation, the levels of iron and manganese have reduced, but we must carry out further works at the treatment plant in order to get the levels down to what is required. It is only then that we can consult with the HSE about possibly lifting the Do Not Consume notice. We hope to carry out these improvement works next week and resume sampling once complete. Public health remains our number one priority. We would like to thank the people of Whiddy Island for their patience and co-operation throughout,’ he said.

Water must not be used for drinking; preparing drinks made with water; preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating; brushing of teeth and/or gargling, or making ice.

It can, however, be used for baths and showers; flushing toilets and watering plants and flowers.

Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink and caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the water.

Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges, Irish Water advised and where pets are concerned, consult a local vet for advice.

It further advises people on Whiddy to only use prepared or bottled water when preparing foods that will not be cooked, eg washing and preparing salads.

Prepare infant formula from bottled water, but 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 one minute),and cooled in the normal way. Ready-to-use formula that does not need added water can also be used.

If boiling bottled water to prepare infant formula, care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds. Accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

Updates will be available on at the Water Supply Updates section, on Twitter @IWCare and via the customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278. Customers can also set the location feature on for localised information about their water supply.



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