Irish Water and Mayo County Council would like to remind customers on Achill Island and the adjacent mainland which is supplied by the public water supply, that the Do Not Consume notice remains in place on the water supply.
The water is not safe for consumption or the preparation of foods, but is safe for hygiene and use in washing machines and dishwashers. Customers are reminded to continue to wash their hands in line with HSE advice while the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
Irish Water and Mayo County Council continue to appeal to residents, businesses and visitors to Achill Island to conserve water. Demand for water remains high and we are grateful to those customers who have listened to and acted on our water conservation pleas which is helping us to provide a continuous supply for everyone for essential handwashing and hygiene purposes.
Ger Greally, Irish Water, said: "Irish Water and Mayo County Council are working hard to find solutions to meet the increase in demand. We have been tankering water to the Acorrymore Water Treatment Plant and to some reservoirs serving the Slievemore and Dugort areas where demand was particularly high and we continued to do this throughout the weekend. The incident management team comprising members from Irish Water and Mayo County Council continues to meet daily to ensure we are assessing all options available at this time.
"In terms of a resolution the demand is still in excess of supply even with the Do Not Consume in place and we are asking both residents and visitors to conserve water wherever possible to reduce demand."
There are 28 tankers providing alternative water supplies in place across Achill and customers are advised that this water must be boiled before use as a precautionary measure. It is important to continue to follow the HSE guidance when collecting water including social distancing and hand hygiene.
Vulnerable customers who have contacted Irish Water requesting bottled water have been facilitated by Mayo County Council and the Civil Defence. Any vulnerable customers who have concerns can contact our customer care team on 1850 278 278.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have confirmed that the water is safe for animal consumption.
The following are the Group Water Schemes served by the Achill Public Water Supply Scheme: Dooniver GWS; Saulia No 2 GWS; Crumpaun GWS; Dooega GWS; Shraheens, Achill GWS; Dugort No 1 GWS; Dugort No. 2 GWS; Dugort East GWS; Valley 1 GWS; Valley 3 GWS.
An alternative water supply is in place to support residents and visitors to Achill at the following locations: Tonragee National School; Belfarsad Church; Corraun Church; Alices, Achill Sound; Achill Sound Hotel; St Fionnians/House of Prayer, Achill Sound; Pattens Bar, Dereens; Ashleam; Lavelles Bar, Dooega; Saila National School; Ted Lavelles, Cashel; Ashleam National School; Bunnacurry National School; Dooinver National School; Valley National School; Mastersons Bar, Doogort; Doogort Campsite; Slievemore Holiday Village; Desserted Village Rd, Slievemore; Dookinella National School; Barrett's Shop/Keel Campsite 1 No. small tanker; Keel Hall; Aquarium; St Coleman's Day Centre, Keel; Cuanaoibhinn Housing, Keel; Achill Head; Dooagh National School; Gielty's Bar, Dooagh
Customers are reminded to use their own containers when taking water from the tankers and to boil water before consumption as a precautionary measure.
It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle fed infants. Water is safe to use for handwashing and personal hygiene and customers should continue to follow public health advice on handwashing at this time.
With the water treatment plant continuing to see high levels of demand we are once again asking customers and visitors to Achill to conserve water wherever possible. There are ways to conserve water that will not impact on hygiene or handwashing. Simple water conservation efforts can have a big impact on reducing demand on the supply.
Taking a shower instead of a bath or using a watering can rather than a hose when gardening can make a big difference in water use. We are asking people to refrain from washing their cars and power hosing. We are also reminding people with responsibility for properties that are currently unoccupied to check for leaks and turn off water where it is not required. There are more conservation tips and guidance for homes, businesses and farms, including information on how much water you can save with simple measures on our website https://www.water.ie/conservation/
Irish Water is working closely with Mayo County Council to lift the notice as quickly as it is safe to do so and to safeguard the water supply for the future. Updates will be available on our Water Supply Updates section, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1850 278 278.
Please note important advice below
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
What can you use water for?
The water can be used for personal hygiene, washing of hands, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils
Irish Water and Mayo County Council will continue to liaise with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting this drinking water restriction as soon as practicable.