No timeframe can be given for when boil water notice will be lifted

Irish Water notice affecting 600,000 people in greater Dublin area in place since Monday

The boil water notice  remains in place for 600,000 people. Photograph: Getty Images

The boil water notice remains in place for 600,000 people. Photograph: Getty Images

 

A boil water notice affecting over 600,000 homes in the greater Dublin area is to continue until at least Tuesday, Irish Water has said.

In a statement issued this evening, the company said that following consultation with the HSE and Fingal County Council the notice for customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant would remain in place as testing of the water continues.

Irish Water reimposed the boil water notice on 600,000 people on Monday, less than a fortnight after the previous one was lifted. The areas covered by the notice include much of north Co Dublin, as well as parts of Kildare and Meath.

The boil water notice is in place due to problems at the Irish Water Leixlip treatment plant, which supplies a fifth of the daily water demand for the greater Dublin area.

The utility cannot guarantee the quality of the water coming from the plant.

The boil water notice was put in place due to high levels of suspended particles in the water causing it to appear cloudy, following heavy rainfall last weekend.

Irish Water said on Friday evening that the Environmental Protection Agency had conducted an audit of the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant.

“The test results of three water samples taken throughout the week were found to be satisfactory and these results formed part of the audit process,” the statement said.

It said the HSE had determined that three satisfactory consecutive samples were required after Wednesday evening, when the old plant came back into full compliance, before the boil water notice could be lifted.

“Work will continue over the weekend to complete the testing. The final test will be processed and analysed and results should be available on Tuesday,” it said.

Niall Gleeson, managing director of Irish Water, said the company acknowledges and understands the impact of the notice and “we sincerely regret the inconvenience”.

“We endeavoured to keep the public up to date at every stage and we are grateful to the media, elected representatives and members of the public who shared the information on social media and who supported family, friends and neighbours.”

He said since early this morning, Fingal County Council had flushed the network in key areas to remove the remaining at-risk water.

“We expect the EPA will publish their audit and in consultation with them Irish Water will agree an action plan based on the recommendations,” he said.

He said the “ultimate solution” to the issue was to replace the filters at the old plant.

“This process is being accelerated as quickly and safely as possible while still maintaining supply to the greater Dublin area,” Mr Gleeson said.

Gerry Fagan, a business owner based in Skerries, north Co Dublin, said businesses were frustrated with the ongoing water supply issues.

Mr Fagan, who owns Gerry’s Fresh Foods and Jaques Café in Skerries, told Newstalk Breakfast there was a lack of consistency in the water service.

He grows much of the produce for the café which has to be washed before it can be prepared, he said. “We wash our own vegetables, so we have to boil water to do that, we have to use water to make soup, we have to boil that, we need water to wash salads, that has to be boiled too,” he said.

“It’s now a question of trust, the number one thing for us is the quality we give customers,” he said.

“We give customers a glass of water with their meal, now we’re providing bottled water free of charge,” which came at a cost to his business, he said.