After 11 days over 46,500 people in Mayo were able to use their tap water after the boil water notice on the Lough Mask Regional Water Supply Scheme was lifted on Tuesday afternoon. Daily sampling at the source, at the treatment plant and on the network since the boil water notice was issued did not identify any presence of cryptosporidium.
An independent audit carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency at the plant confirmed that there were significant improvements to the filter management and control at the plant since their previous audit in May 2015. This was as a result of works undertaken at the plant over the past year and a half. It also stated there was no evidence of filter breakthrough in the lead up to the cryptosporidium detection.
Intensive investigations carried out by Irish Water and Mayo County Council on the plant mirror the findings of the independent EPA report. Irish Water and Mayo County Council have also carried out extensive separate investigations on the water source and network and no issues have been identified.
The HSE advised that there has been no confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis in the community directly linked to the failed sample. However, in the interest of public health Irish Water, Mayo County Council and the HSE will continue to closely monitor the scheme.
Speaking after the lifting of the notice, Taoiseach Enda Kenny commented "I am happy to learn the boil notice has been lifted on the Lough Mask Regional Water Supply and I expect every effort will be made to ensure this can be avoided in future. I understand the boil notice was an inconvenience since it was introduced on September 2, but the protection of public health was the key reason for implementing the notice. So far, no cases of illness have been reported from the presence of cryptosporidium in the Lough Mask Water Supply."
Minister of State Michael Ring added that “I am delighted that the boil water notice has been lifted and that the water on this scheme has been deemed safe for drinking and for use in food preparation, etc. The boil notice affected a very large area of Mayo and it had a knock-on effect for households, businesses and tourists, alike. his is very good news for all of those affected by the boil notice” concluded Minister Ring.
The Taoiseach also added that"The Government announced €5.7million for Rural Water Schemes in Mayo two weeks ago and construction began on the new Belmullet Sewerage Scheme in July. The continued investment in upgrading drinking water supplies will continue to ensure such boil notices can be avoided in future and €18million has been invested to date by Irish Water in Lough Mask. Another €21.4million is committed to water projects in Mayo and this will help ensure clean drinking water to benefit not only consumers, but also businesses which rely on a clean and constant water supply."