Following advice from the Health Service Executive, Irish Water and Mayo County Council last Friday, October 12 issued a Boil Water Notice for the area supplied by the Ballycastle Public Water Supply and the Corrower/Sea Road Group Water Scheme and Lisbrin Group Water Scheme to protect consumers following a recent drinking water quality test.
The Boil Water Notice has been put in place following a detection of cryptosporidium in the water. Cryptosporidium is a tiny parasite found in human and animal waste.
If it is swallowed (ingested ), it can cause a disease called cryptosporidiosis. The symptoms of cryptosporidiosis include fever, stomach upset, weight loss and diarrhoea.
Anyone suffering from diarrhoea for more than two days should contact their general practitioner and provide a stool sample for testing. They should continue to drink plenty of boiled or bottled water.
Cryptosporidium may be found in water if it has been contaminated or if there has been a problem with water treatment.
Irish Water and Mayo County Council will continue to liaise with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting the Boil Water Notice as soon as practicable.
In the meantime, all customers of the Ballycastle PWS and the Corrower/Sea Road GWS and Lisbrin GWS are advised to boil water before use until further notice.
Commenting Ger Greally, Irish Water’s Asset Operations Water Lead said: "We are aware of the impact that this notice will have on the communities affected.
"We advise customers of the public water supply and the two group water schemes to adhere to the Boil Water Notice until further notice.
"We will continue to work closely with Mayo County Council and the HSE to monitor the supply and lift the notice as quickly as it is safe to do so and safeguard the supply for the future. We will issue a further update as soon as more information is available."
Water must be boiled for: (1 ) Drinking, (2 ) Drinks made with water, (3 ) Preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating, (4 ) Brushing of teeth and (5 ) Making of ice - discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges. Make ice from cooled boiled water.
What actions should be taken: (1 ) Use water prepared for drinking when preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing salads ), (2 ) Water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing and flushing of toilets but not for brushing teeth or gargling, (3 ) Boil water by bringing to a vigorous, rolling boil (e.g. with an automatic kettle ) and allow to cool. Cover and store in a refrigerator or cold place. Water from the hot tap is not safe to drink. Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink, (4 ) Caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water (5 )Prepare infant feeds with water that has been brought to the boil once and cooled.
Do not use water that has been re-boiled several times. If bottled water is used for the preparation of infant feeds it should be boiled once and cooled. If you are using bottled water for preparing baby food, be aware that some natural mineral water may have high sodium content. The legal limit for sodium in drinking water is 200mg per litre. Check the label on the bottled water to make sure the sodium or `Na' is not greater than 200mg per litre. If it is, then it is advisable to use a different type of bottled water. If no other water is available, then use this water for as short a time as possible. It is important to keep babies hydrated.
Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.
Additional information and advice is available by calling Irish Water’s 24-hour customer care line at (1850 ) 278 278. Updates are available at Water Supply Updates