The end of this week is the earliest estimate Irish Water is giving for the lifting of a Boil Water Notice imposed on more than 11,200 south Tipperary homes and businesses last Friday.
The notice was imposed by Irish Water on customers served by the Ardfinnan Water Supply and Graigue Group Water Schemes due to the impact of heavy rainfall on their supply.
It covers a significant swathe of south Tipperary stretching from Newcastle to communities near Clonmel and Fethard.
Irish Water says it’s hopeful the notice can be lifted by the end of this week but it can’t definitely promise this will happen as the decision is dependent on clear water samples over a number of consecutive days.
The notice requires people to boil water before using it for food preparation, drinking and washing teeth. It was put in place last Friday after heavy rainfalls the previous day caused “elevated turbidity” at the water treatment plant serving Ardfinnan Water Supply and Graigue GWS. The notice was put in place after consultation with the HSE.
A total of 11,245 Irish Water customers in south Tipperary are affected by the notice. They live and work in Ardfinnan, Grange, Knocklofty, Newcastle, Ballyclerihan, Cahir (the Clonmel side of the bridge, Tipperary Road and Mitchelstown Road); Ballingarrane (as far as the Cahir Road Roundabout at Clonmel); Market Hill and Red City areas of Fethard.
Irish Water spokesman Richard O’Headhra said the water treatment plant serving the Ardfinnan Water Supply is performing well at present and is being closely monitored. Water samples are being taken for the next few days as part of this monitoring.
“In order to lift the Boil Water Notice, we will require clear samples over a number of consecutive days, consultation with the HSE and we need to ensure the plant is performing as it should.
“We would hope to have the notice lifted by the end of the week but we cannot be definitive on that until the samples come back. All customers remain on the Boil Water Notice until it is safe to remove them,” he continued.
“We will update all customers via the Irish Water website, media, social media and elected representatives as soon as the notice has been lifted.”
Independent Cllr Máirín McGrath from Newcastle said the Boil Water Notice was a nuisance for people in her area but she believes it’s better for the authorities to take this precaution to ensure people don’t get sick.
Irish Water, meanwhile, said its drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Tipperary County Council to resolve the problem as quickly and as safely as possible.
The utility is contacting registered vulnerable customers affected by the Boil Water Notice to advise them on what measures to take.
“Irish Water acknowledges the impact and inconvenience caused by the imposition of a Boil Water Notice to homes and businesses,” said Colin Cunningham of Irish Water.
The public should contact the water utility’s customer care helpline, open 24/7, on 1800 278 278 if they have any queries.
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