Daily struggle of boiling water ‘neither practical nor safe’, says mother

‘The water is either unsafe or it is non-existent. It is so frustrating’

Julie Seymour with her   husband Gregg and  their two daughters. Their  home in the coastal town of Skerries in north Dublin is regularly beset with water problems.

Julie Seymour with her husband Gregg and their two daughters. Their home in the coastal town of Skerries in north Dublin is regularly beset with water problems.

 

“It is a daily struggle at this stage,” says Julie Seymour, a mother of two toddlers, whose home in the coastal town of Skerries in north Dublin is regularly beset with water problems.

“It is a case that the water is either unsafe or it is non-existent. It is so frustrating. As a young family, we were excited to buy our new home two years ago. But it has just become a horror story.”

The latest problems started when she and her husband Gregg arrived home at Barnageeragh Cove from work shortly after 6pm on Monday.

Just as they were about to prepare dinner for themselves and their daughters – aged one and two – neighbourhood WhatsApp groups pinged with messages about the latest boil-water notice – the second within two weeks.

“It was pretty much a lot of swearing going on, people saying they can’t believe this is happening again,” says Julie, who works for an IT company.

There has been no direct contact from Irish Water, they say, and they mostly learn their water is polluted again through the press and social media.

“My husband had to quickly run up to the local Spar and get some bottled water for the children, at the very least. He said it was absolute mayhem – people running in and grabbing water.”

They buy enough water for drinking, cooking, washing fruit and vegetables and cleaning teeth.

Boiling large pots of water and leaving them about the house for use later is neither practical for people working full-time nor safe for their young children, says Ms Seymour.

“Then we have to change our meal plans for the week, not knowing when the boil-water notice is going to be lifted.

“And to be honest, when they do say it is lifted, we still don’t trust the supply for at least 24 hours. We are at the end of a supply line.”

She usually gives her two daughters a bath every night but that has to stop. “We don’t want to take the risk – how can you stop a one-year-old or a two-year-old drinking the water?”