Greater Dublin boil water notice: Dos and don’ts for those affected

HSE advises households to consider using paper plates to limit need for washing up

 Low stocks of water at  Lidl in  Castleknock due to the boil water notice issued in the greater Dublin Area by Irish Water. Photograph: Alan Betson

Low stocks of water at Lidl in Castleknock due to the boil water notice issued in the greater Dublin Area by Irish Water. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The HSE has issued advice for how businesses and residents impacted by the ongoing boil water notice in the Greater Dublin Area should proceed.

Generally, the HSE has advised that anyone developing the symptoms of gastrointestinal infections, such as diarrhoea or stomach cramps, should consult their GP for testing and treatment.

Residents in affected areas

The HSE is advising that only boiled or bottled water be used in food preparation in affected areas. Those who are unsure about their water supply are also advised to follow the same advice.

Boiled water should be kept in clean containers and away from any risk of contamination if not used immediately, the HSE said, adding that boiled water cannot be kept indefinitely for consumption.

Ice is only to be made from boiled or bottled water, while cooking equipment, worktops and chopping boards should be cleaned using boiled or bottled water. The use of paper plates and cups is recommended as a short term measure to reduce the need for washing up.

Using tanker water

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy on Wednesday rejected a call by Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary to re-consider a decision not to send water tankers to affected areas. Mr Murphy said tankers were not needed because people can boil their own water.

If a water tanker is provided in your area, the HSE advises that only clean containers be used to take water from it - and that containers previously used to store chemicals should not be used for this purpose. Tanker water should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute and allowed to cool before use. This applies to water for drinking and use in food preparation.

For young babies

When preparing infant formula, the HSE is advising that tanker water, where provided, and bottled water should be brought to a rolling boil and cooled before use. It is best not to use bottled water labelled as ‘Natural Mineral Water’, as it can have high levels of salt and other minerals. If no alternative is available, natural mineral water can be used, but for as short a time as possible.

For those sterilising feeding equipment, boiled and cooled tanker water can be used, as can bottled water. If bottles or feeding equipment are being sterilised by boiling, the HSE is advising that boiled and cooled tanker water, stored boiled and cooled tap water, or bottled water be used. This water should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute in a separate pan only used for boiling steralised items, before bottles or equipment is steralised in it for 10 minutes.

When bathing infants, people are advised to use boiled and cooled tanker water, or bottled water.

Food businesses and childcare operators

The supply of water by food premises and childcare operators is governed by strict European directives and regulations, which mean each buisness must have a water supply suitable for drinking purposes for use in connection with food or food equipment.

These businsesses are being advised to stay away from disused private wells until the water has been tested and deemed satisfactory. Premises must supply antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer at all wash basins, including customer’s wash basins.

Meanwhile, employees in these businesses have been told they must wash their hands frequently. If no tap water is available they should use water taken from tankers, bottled water, hand wipes or sanitizer.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/environ/Contact.html