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Independent.ie

Thursday 16 August 2018

Kerosene spillage: Locals told 'Do Not Drink' water notice may not be lifted for weeks

  • Some 12,000 people affected by the 'Do Not Drink' notice
  • Notice may not be lifted 'for a number of weeks'
  • Farmers told to avoid if possible using supply for livestock needs
  • Locals told water should not be used for drinking, drinks made with water, food preparation, washing or cooking of food,brushing of teeth, or making of ice and pregnant women should not drink this water
Some 12,000 people affected by the 'Do Not Drink' notice
Some 12,000 people affected by the 'Do Not Drink' notice
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

A 'Do Not Drink' notice issued to some 12,000 people after a "significant spillage of kerosene" into the water supply "may not be lifted for a number of weeks".

Co. Tipperary Irish Water and Tipperary Co. Council issued the notice for water in the Fethard area after the spillage of kerosene into the River Anner downstream of Mullinahone.

The source of the contamination has been identified and contained. The Council is ensuring that the necessary clean-up measures are being put in place.

The Environmental Protection Agency, Irish Water and Inland Fisheries Ireland have also been notified of this incident.

The notice comes following consultation with the Health Service Executive and Irish Water and applies to all consumers supplied by the Fethard Public Water Supply.

Initial investigations indicate that water in the River Anner downstream of Mullinahone may be contaminated by the kerosene spillage.

The HSE has advised locals that kerosene is generally detected by smell and/or taste before it reaches a level which might affect health.

Irish Water has confirmed to Independent.ie that some 12,000 people are affected by the notice which it says may not be lifted for a number of weeks.

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Farmers and land-owners in the area are also being advised to check on livestock and take any necessary precautions.

Irish Water has said it is not advised to use the water for livestock while the current "Do Not Drink" notice is in place.

A spokesperson for Irish Water said it is tankering water to a number of locations in the Fethard area (see details below).

"If you are concerned that your livestock may have consumed contaminated water, we would advise you to contact your local vet for advice, or your local Department of Agriculture contact," he said.

The main source of water in the area is from the Anner River and Irish Water waiting to identify the level of contamination in the river and how long it may be to clear.

Irish Water has said it could be a "matter of weeks" before the Do Not Drink Notice is lifted.

Water production has ceased at the treatment plant and as a result, some customers in the area have lost supply.

Irish Water is working with Tipperary County Council, the HSE and other relevant agencies to restore a water supply for washing and sanitary purposes.

Specialist contractors are on site doing a deep clean of the plant in order to bring it back into production. In the meantime, we are working to restore a supply to as many areas as possible by rerouting water from outlying areas and establishing new borehole sources.

There may be some areas where it will not be possible to restore water for several days and in these areas, we will work with the community to maintain adequate alternative supplies.

Current situation:

Due to hydrocarbon contamination of the source supplying the Fethard Public Water Supply, Irish Water and Tipperary County Council, in consultation with the HSE, have issued a Do Not Drink notice for customers supplied by the Fethard Public Water Supply .

Areas affected include Fethard, Killenaule, Gortnahoe, Ballysloe, Ballynonty, Moyglass, Mullinahone, Drangan, Glengoole, Cloneen, Ballinure and Killusty

This water should not be used for

  • drinking,
  • drinks made with water,
  • food preparation, washing or cooking of food,
  • brushing of teeth, or
  • making of ice
  • In particular, pregnant women 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.

The water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils, however, if you are experiencing skin irritation you may wish to avoid using water for showering or bathing or washing clothes.

Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink.

Caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water.

Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges.

Please note that boiling the water will not be sufficient to make it suitable to drink.

Water Tankers will be made available from today March 6. These are located at the following locations:

  • Gortnahoe
  • Ballysloe
  • Glengoole
  • Ballynonty
  • Ballinure
  • Killenaule
  • Moyglass
  • Cloneen
  • Drangan
  • Asses Turn Mullinahone
  • Poulacapple Junction
  • Poulacapple School
  • Kilvemnon National School

Irish Water and Tipperary County Council has said they will continue to liaise with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting the Do Not Drink Notice as soon as practicable.


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