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26 Jan 2022

Irish Water experts working as quickly as possible to lift Longford boil water notice

Irish Water experts working as quickly as possible to lift Longford boil water notice

'Further controls needed on filter operations at Lough Forbes Water Treatment Plant to ensure safe water at all times'

Irish Water has said this afternoon (Monday, November 29) that their drinking water experts are working with their colleagues in Longford County Council and in consultation with the HSE to lift the boil water notice affecting customers supplied by Longford Central Public Water Supply as quickly and as safely as possible.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an audit at the Lough Forbes Water Treatment Plant last Thursday, November 25 and although the plant 'was producing safe water' it was found that 'further controls are needed on filter operations to ensure safe water at all times'.

The Longford boil water notice has been in place since November 3 and it is affecting over 17,500 consumers - almost half the county's population. 

A spokesperson for Irish Water stated, "Irish Water's primary focus is and always will be the protection of public health and it is essential that customers continue to boil and cool their water before consuming. As part of the process to lift the notice, Irish Water and Longford County Council are progressing with repairs onsite, flushing of the network and sampling of water supplies." 

They added, "Irish Water and Longford County Council have identified further measures to improve filter operations at the plant and will continue to liaise with the EPA in relation to these improvement works. Irish Water would like to reassure customers that our drinking water experts are working with our colleagues in Longford County Council and in consultation with the HSE to lift the Boil Water Notice as quickly and as safely as possible."

John Gavin, Asset Operations Lead with Irish Water, has acknowledged the impact of this notice on the people of Longford and regrets the inconvenience to impacted customers, adding. “Public health is Irish Water’s number one priority and we would like to assure customers that the notice has been put in place to protect customers. We are working closely with Longford County Council to restore drinking water quality for all impacted customers and to lift the Boil Water Notice as quickly as it is safe to do so, in consultation with the HSE.

"In relation to the upgrade works at Lough Forbes Water Treatment Plant, John added: “We are also progressing with upgrades to the treatment plant which will increase capacity, provide increased resilience, and safeguard the supply in Longford for the future."

Advice for Consumers 

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice and are reminded that the water is safe to consume once boiled. Those who have concerns can contact the Irish Water customer care team on 1800 278 278.

Customers can check if they are impacted by this Boil Water Notice by visiting www.water.ie/help/water-quality/  and entering their property’s Eircode in the search bar. 

Irish Water will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

Water must be boiled for:

  • Drinking;
  • Drinks made with water;
  • Preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating;
  • Brushing of teeth;
  • Making of ice - discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges. Make ice from cooled boiled water.
     

What actions should be taken:

  • Use water prepared for drinking when preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing salads);
  • Water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing and flushing of toilets but not for brushing teeth or gargling;
  • Boil water by bringing to a vigorous, rolling boil (e.g. with an automatic kettle) and allow to cool. Cover and store in a refrigerator or cold place. Water from the hot tap is not safe to drink. Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink;
  • Caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water;
  • Prepare infant feeds with water that has been brought to the boil once and cooled. Do not use water that has been re-boiled several times. If bottled water is used for the preparation of infant feeds it should be boiled once and cooled. If you are using bottled water for preparing baby food, be aware that some natural mineral water may have high sodium content. The legal limit for sodium in drinking water is 200mg per litre. Check the label on the bottled water to make sure the sodium or `Na' is not greater than 200mg per litre. If it is, then it is advisable to use a different type of bottled water. If no other water is available, then use this water for as short a time as possible. It is important to keep babies hydrated.


Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

Updates are available on the Water Supply Updates section on www.water.ie  including a map of the affected area, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278. Customers are advised to set their location on water.ie to view updates specific to their water supply. Further information on using water during a Boil Water Notice is available on www.water.ie/bwn .

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Over €2.5m in financial support has been allocated to eight Longford schools under the Summer Works Scheme, forming part of a near €6m investment in education, infrastructure and travel this week

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