Irish Water and Galway County Council would like to remind customers supplied by the Inishbofin Public Water Supply Scheme that the Do Not Consume Notice issued in consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), remains in place. 

The notice, arising due to elevated levels of manganese, has been put in place to protect the health of a population of approximately 156 customers. Elevated levels were likely due to extremely low water levels in Lough Fawna (lake) after a prolonged period of dry weather.

It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle fed infants.

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. 

Tankered water is being made available on the island, near the pier, 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.

Irish Water drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Galway County Council to resolve this situation as soon as possible.

Speaking about the imposition of the notice, Irish Water’s Operations Manager, Anthony Skeffington, said: Public health is Irish Water’s number one priority and we appreciate the impact that this notice will have on the community on the Island. However, the restriction has been put in place in order to protect our consumers. Irish Water and Galway County Council are working tirelessly to lift the boil water notice as early as it safe to do so.

 “Lough Fawna water levels have replenished significantly in recent weeks, with notable improvements in raw water quality. Operational works are continuing at the treatment plant to optimise its performance. We are continuing to monitor samples to ensure that manganese levels have returned to acceptable levels.
 Anthony added: “We again apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. We are grateful to the media, elected representatives and members of the public who are sharing the information. We would ask customers who have queries or concerns, particularly vulnerable or elderly customers, 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

What can you use water for?

  • The water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils

 Irish Water and Galway County Council will continue to liaise with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting this drinking water restriction as soon as practicable.
Updates will be available on our Water Supply Updates section, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800 278 278. 


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