Boil water notice extended after further failed samples for cryptosporidium

IRISH Water, working in partnership with Sligo County Council, would like to remind customers supplied by the Lough Talt Public Water Supply that the boil water notice that was issued on the supply on Monday, February 5, remains in place until further notice.

A two-week testing and sampling programme which was implemented in agreement with the HSE has concluded and found two more positive detections for cryptosporidium.

Irish Water met with the HSE today and on the advice of the health authority the Boil Water Notice remains in place. A further two weeks of sampling and testing has been agreed and these results will be reviewed with the HSE on Friday, March 2. The HSE confirmed today that to date there have been no cases of associated illness reported in the community.

In the meantime Irish Water is urgently progressing with an alternative design proposal and will be in consultation with the relevant stakeholders regarding this detailed option over the next few weeks.

The priority for Irish Water is to ultimately provide compliant and robust water treatment for the 13,000 people who are affected by this Boil Water Notice in the shortest possible time.

Over the past couple of weeks Irish Water, in partnership with Sligo County Council, has completed a review of the catchment followed by protection works at the inlet.

Commenting on the Boil Water Notice, Seamus Granahan, Regional Asset Operations Manager from Irish Water, said: “We would like to remind customers to continue boiling their water before consumption. We would also like to stress that this is NOT a Do Not Use Notice. Once boiled and cooled the water is perfectly safe to consume.

“Public health is our number one priority and it is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice. Irish Water sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that this Boil Water Notice has caused and we will continue to communicate with local stakeholders and elected representatives to keep the community updated.”

Areas affected by the Boil Water Notice include the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote and a large rural hinterland including the villages of Annagh, Aclare, Bellaghy, Bunnanaddan, Curry, Lavagh, Ballanacarrow, Carroweden, Kilmacteige, Quarryfield and Coolaney.

This boil notice also includes customers supplied by the Ogham Group Water Scheme (GWS) in Co. Sligo and the following areas in Co Mayo: Cloontia, Doocastle, and the Moylough GWS.

Customers are reminded to continue to boil water before consumption including the washing of teeth, making of ice and in the preparation of food that is not cooked. It is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice.

A map of the scheme is available on the Irish Water and Sligo County Council’s websites.

Irish Water and Sligo County Council sincerely apologise to all customers for any inconvenience caused by this Boil Water Notice.

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. Bottled water can 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.

Anyone suffering from diarrhoea for more than two days should contact their general practitioner and provide a stool sample for testing. They should continue to drink plenty of boiled or bottled water.

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

Further information and additional advice for customers is available on or by calling 1850 278 278.