Warning issued due to chlorine levels in water in Co Meath

Irish Water urges people not to use supply for drinking, food preparation or washing

Households in Co Meath have been told to not to use tap water for drinking, food preparation or washing.

Irish Water issued the warning on Wednesday afternoon due to increased chlorine levels in the water supply.

The areas affected by the notice include Kilcloon, Moygaddy, Killeany, Kilgraigue, Harristown, Brownstown, Ballynare, Butlerstown, Staffordstown, Brownrath, Blackhall Little, Waynestown, Harlockstown and Ballymacoll.

Irish Water said the “mechanical issue” that caused the chlorine levels to increase had been resolved but the warning would remain in place “until further notice”.

“We are carrying out a programme of flushing on the network to return the chlorine levels to the correct drinking water standards,” the company said in a statement.

“Customers must not drink the water, use it for food preparation or wash in the water until further notice. We will continue to keep customers updated on this incident.

“Customers are advised to draw down water from [the] attic/storage tank, customers should flush toilets or run bathroom taps intermittently, as tanks refill chlorine levels in [the] storage tank will return to normal.”

Irish Water said it was working closely with Meath County Council and the HSE to monitor the supply and “lift the notice as quickly as possible”.

Bottled water is available for collection from the Kilcoon church and Kilcloon school on Wednesday. Manned water tankers will be in place from 5.30pm on Wednesday at the church and school and will remain until Thursday afternoon.

Fianna Fáil TD for Meath East Thomas Byrne said “we’re looking for answers as to why it took so long to respond to this”.

“A number of constituents were in touch reporting that children were coming out in rashes over the last few days and reported this to Irish Water on Monday wondering what was happening.

“Irish Water have now responded a few days later with this notice, so it is a bit late. Some people have suffered . . . It’s a really serious situation.”

For more information and additional advice, Irish Water can be contacted on its 24-hour customer care line at 1850 278 278 or on Twitter @IWCare.