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*A water tanker on site in Quin. 

Households across South-East Clare have been advised not to consume water after elevated levels of manganese were detected.

Consumers on the Shannon/Sixmilebridge public water supply have been issued with the do not consume notice. This comes following consultation with the Health Service Executive by Irish Water who are now working in partnership with Clare County Council.

Approximately 7,500 customers in Cratloe, Kilmurry, Kilkishen, Quin and Sixmilebridge are affected by the notice, it does not apply to customers in Shannon, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Bunratty.

It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle fed infants, a spokesperson for Irish Water has stressed. “Please note this is not a Boil Water Notice. Boiling the water will not reduce manganese levels and is therefore not a suitable measure to make the water safe to consume. This notice does not apply to other water schemes in Co Clare,” the spokesperson added.

Business customers will receive a 40 per cent rebate on the cost of the supply of water to their businesses for the duration of the Do Not Consume Notice.

Presently, the water can only be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils

Tankered water will be in place at the following locations to provide an alternative water supply to customers. Customers are reminded to use their own containers when taking water from the tanker and to boil water before consumption as a precautionary measure. Social distancing is to be adhered to when queuing for water supplies.

Cratloe: Adjacent to the school
Sixmilebridge: Adjacent to the church
Kilmurry: Adjacent to the church
Kilkishen Adjacent to the school
Quin: Adjacent to the school

An update on the situation is to be given by Irish Water early next week, their drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Clare County Council to resolve the matter.

Speaking about the imposition of the notice, Duane O’Brien, Irish Water said: “Irish Water is aware of the impact a Do Not Consume Notice has on the community and would like to reassure impacted customers that we are working hard to lift the notice as quickly and as safely as possible. We would like to thank customers in advance for their patience and cooperation and advise any customers who have concerns to contact our customer care team on 1800 278 278.”

This water should not be used for

  • Drinking
  • Drinks made with water
  • Food preparation, washing or cooking of food,
  • Brushing of teeth
  • Making of ice
  • Children under 12 months old should not drink this water
  • In particular, children under 12 months old should not drink this water. This water should not be used for making up infant formula for bottled fed infants. An alternative source of water should be used. Bottled water can also be used to make up infant formula. All bottled water, with the exception of natural mineral water, is regulated to the same standard as drinking water. It is best not to use bottled water labelled as ‘Natural Mineral Water’ as it can have high levels of sodium (salt) and other minerals, although it rarely does. ‘Natural Mineral Water’ can be used if no other water is available, for as short a time as possible, as it is important to keep babies hydrated.
  • If bottled water is used to make up infant formula it should be boiled once (rolling boil for 1 minute), and cooled in the normal way
  • Ready-to-use formula that does not need added water can also be used.
  • Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink
  • Caution should be taken when bathing infants to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water
  • Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) flagged that boiling the water will not make it safe for consumption, “boiling the water won’t take the manganese out of it”. He outlined that the water can stain white fabrics if it is used in the washing machine when high levels of manganese are detected.

“Seemingly the high temperatures over the last couple of weeks has caused this manganese to get out which is now gone into dangerous levels which shouldn’t be consumed,” he added.

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