The island of Achill has been throw into disarray this weekend after Irish Water last night issued a Do Not Consume Notice on the island because of a serious risk to health.
Elevated levels of aluminium and turbidity (cloudiness) were found in the water of the Achill Public Supply Scheme and hence effects that and group water schemes in Slievemore, Doogort, Dooinver, Dooega and Saile.
Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and working in partnership with Mayo County Council, Irish Water has issued a Do Not Consume Notice for all 2,400 residents and all of the visitors to Achill, and have said it is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle-fed infants.
The severity of the problem is highlighted by the fact that this is NOT a Boil Water Notice because “Boiling the water will not reduce aluminium and turbidity levels and is therefore not a suitable measure to make the water safe to consume.”
Mayo County Council dispatched water tankers to Achill Island on Friday night to provide an alternative water supply to customers. The water tankers are now operational and are located at Alice’s at Achill Sound, the House of Prayer at Achill Sound, Ted Lavelles in Cashel, Barrett’s Costcutter in Keel and Gieltys in Dooega.
More tankers are currently being installed at another dozen locations around Achill including Valley National School, Mastersons Bar in Doogort, Doogort Camp Site, Corraun Community Centre, Tonragee National School and Saile National School. These are expected to be operational by Saturday afternoon.
Customers are reminded to use their own containers when taking water from the tankers and to boil water before consumption as a precautionary measure. Bottled water is being arranged for delivery to vulnerable customers.
The news comes just two days after Irish Water and Mayo County Council asked customers in Achill to conserve water as the influx of visitors to the area had resulted in drinking water demand outstripping plant production.
In a statement last night, Irish Water said that drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Mayo County Council to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
“We acknowledge the impact of this notice on the local community in Achill Island,” said Ger Greally, Irish Water Operations. “We are working closely with our colleagues in Mayo County Council to lift the notice as quickly as it is safe to do so and safeguard the water supply for the future.”
The water is safe to use for handwashing and personal hygiene.
Vulnerable customers who have concerns are asked contact Irish Water’s customer care team on 1850 278 278. Updates will be available on the website’s Water Supply Updates section and also on Twitter @IWCare.