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Dublin: 3 °C Monday 11 November, 2019
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Irish Water apologises to 600,000 customers affected by boil water notice

The notice impacts approximately 600,000 people and is expected to stay in place for a number of days.

Image: Shutterstock/Ryazantsev Dmitriy

IRISH WATER HAS apologised to approximately 600,000 people across parts of Dublin, Kildare and Meath who are affected by a boil water notice due to issues with the treatment process at Leixlip Water Treatment Plant.

The notice was issued yesterday after the disinfection process, which makes water safe to drink, may have been compromised at the facility. It is expected to stay in place for a number of days.

People are being urged to ensure that they heed the advice and boil their water for drinking purposes, brushing their teeth, preparing food and infants’ bottles.

Irish Water said that the issues at the plant have been resolved but the affected water is still travelling through the system.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 today Irish Water spokeswoman Yvonne Harris said that the problem was caused by a small mechanical failure in part of the plant.

She apologised to customers over the incident and because the company’s website crashed yesterday, as huge volumes of people logged on to see if they were affected: 

The timing was really disastrous from an Irish Water perspective. Typically when we send out alerts we direct people to our website.

“The fact that the website was not available to people was inconvenient again. We would like to apologise to customers and actually thank media, who spread the message, our elected and local representatives. We worked with departments. The Department of Education got a message out to schools,” she added.

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The EPA oversees that Irish Water provides a safe supply of drinking water to public water supplies. It will carry out an assessment of operations at the plant and will undertake an audit in the coming days. 

“We take any incident of this nature very seriously in order to ensure public safety, trust and confidence in the water supply,” it said in a statement.

The audit will examine the treatment processes in place and the actions taken to address the issues which led to the notice being put in place.

“The EPA will ensure that any recommendations of that audit will be implemented by Irish Water,” the statement added.

The agency added that the boil water notice was issued following a consultation between Irish Water and the HSE and it is necessary to ensure that people are not at risk from microscopic bugs that can cause illness.

The areas affected in Dublin stretch from the north inner suburbs up to Skerries and Balbriggan in the North and Corduff and Clonsilla in the West. In Kildare, Leixlip, Celbridge and Maynooth are all affected – as is the town of Dunboyne in Meath.

It extends across to Howth, Donabate, Rush and Malahide to the east where areas as far west as Straffan in Kildare are being advised to boil their water before use.

An interactive map of the affected areas can be found here.

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Ceimin Burke

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