‘Musty’ Mullingar water is safe to drink

Westmeath County Council has moved to reassure the people of Mullingar that their water is safe to drink, following public concern about a ‘musty’ taste and odour coming from the local supply.

In a statement released yesterday, the council said that although consumers of the Mullingar Regional Water Supply are currently experiencing a musty taste and odour from their mains water supply, they are advised that “the water continues to be perfectly safe to drink and this is confirmed by the results of routine tests carried out by the HSE on behalf of the council”.

The HSE is continuing to monitor the water supply, which serves the east and south of the county and is sourced from Lough Owel.

According to the council, at this time of year, particularly in warm weather conditions, algal blooms occur in the lake as a natural event. The council’s water treatment filtration system at Portloman removes algae, bacteria and other potentially harmful constituents from the water.

However, the current problems are due to matter which is dissolved in the water but is too fine for the filters to remove. “The current taste and odour is due to very fine natural molecular matter dissolved in the water that is too fine to be removed by the filters but does not present a risk to public health,” read the statement.

“A simple way to reduce the current taste problem is to store water in the refrigerator. When the water is cold the taste is not as noticeable. Any inconvenience to consumers is regretted but the taste and odour in the water supply is due to a natural weather-related seasonal event, and is outside the control of the council.”

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