Musty-tasting water in parts of Wicklow and Dublin is ‘safe to drink’, says Irish Water

Utility company says low water levels at Vartry Reservoir may have affected taste, following complaints from consumers

Irish Water has acknowledged complaints of “musty-tasting water” and “odours” in supplies to consumers in parts of Wicklow and Dublin.

The utility company said, however, that testing has revealed the supply is safe to drink.

Water levels at Vartry Reservoir in Co Wicklow have been particularly low in recent months, and there was a recent supply outage — a factor which Irish Water said could affect its taste.

Complaints were received from “a small number of customers” across a wide area encompassing Dublin city centre, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area and north Wicklow, Irish Water said.


Irish Water said it “carried out sampling and analysis of the water supplies in these areas and can confirm that the water continues to fully meet chemical and microbiological regulatory standards and is safe to drink”.

Following a big supply outage on September 9th, reservoir levels stabilised and reached full capacity, with network flows and pressure returning to normal operating conditions.

Kevin Love, regional asset operations lead at Irish Water, said investigations were continuing to determine the specific source of the taste and odour issues, and testing was being carried out to determine the root cause.

“There may be a number of contributing factors, and Irish Water are looking into possible changes in the raw water characteristics and lake levels that may be causing the complaints,” he said. “The water treatment plant is operating in full compliance with drinking water regulatory parameters and will automatically shut down if specific online monitoring records a value greater than regulatory operating targets safeguarding public health.”

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist