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Dublin: 1°C Sunday 28 November 2021

Boil water notice to remain in place for a number of days in parts of Dublin, Kildare and Meath

The areas impacted are the same as those impacted by a widespread notice a fortnight ago.

Image: Shutterstock/New Africa

THE BOIL WATER notice will remain in place in parts of Dublin, Kildare and Meath for a number of days, according to Irish Water. 

Irish Water confirmed yesterday evening that the notice will impact approximately 600,000 people and comes as a result of heavy rain.

The areas impacted are the same as those that were affected by a widespread notice a fortnight ago.  

map of the areas is available on the Irish Water website. 

The provider said that the decision was taken by the HSE, Irish Water and Fingal County Council as a precaution “to protect the health of customers supplied by Leixlip Water Treatment Plant”.

Irish Water said yesterday evening that, due to heavy rain, turbidity (cloudy water containing suspended particles) exceeded acceptable levels in the source water in the old Leixlip plant.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland, Irish Water managing director Niall Gleeson said it will be a number of days before the boil water notice will be lifted. 

Gleeson said it’s “not likely” the status of the notice will change today. 

“We certainly need two or three samples, so that will take a number of days, so we are talking days,” he said. 

“Right now, we’re working with the EPA and the HSE to agree a criteria for lifting this boil water notice. Last night the turbidity or cloudiness levels on the plant were dropping, but they’re still not meeting the criteria we need,” Gleeson said. 

Gleeson went on to explain that Irish Water is in the process of refurbishing its old plant in Leixlip, which supplies about 20% of water to Dublin. 

“While we are refurbishing, we can’t take it out of service. Ideally, we would just shut the plant down for six to 12 months, take it out of service and do all these refurbishment works, but because it’s such a critical part of the Dublin water supply we have to keep it in operation,” he said. 

In a statement last night, Irish Water said: 

Plant operators reacted quickly before alarms were activated and shut down the old plant to stop this water entering the network. There were no issues at the new plant, where the level of turbidity was managed by the newer technology on site.
It was essential to re-start production at the old plant, which produces 20% of drinking water for Dublin, otherwise significant restrictions and outages would be inevitable.
As Irish Water cannot guarantee the quality the water from the old plant, a Boil Water Notice is now in place.

Gleeson said that Irish Water had to choose between leaving customers without water for washing or re-opening the old Leixlip plant and having issues with the water quality.

The notice comes 10 days after the previous boil water notice was lifted three days after it was put in place. 

When a boil water is in place, water must be boiled for: drinking, use in the preparation of uncooked foods (such as salads), brushing of teeth, the making of ice. 

Safely boiled water should be brought to a vigorous boil, such as in a kettle, and then allowed to cool. It should be covered stored in a fridge or cold place. 

Water does not need to be boiled for washing, bathing and the flushing of toilets but caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water.

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