Almost 8,000 people warned their tap water is not fit to drink
Almost 8,000 people in Co Cavan have been warned not to drink their tap water after unsafe levels of the mineral manganese were found in the supply.
A "Do Not Consume" notice, issued by Irish Water on Friday, applies to customers served by the Bailieborough Public Water Supply, including Bailieborough, Killinkere, Virginia, Crossbane and Mullagh.
Irish Water stressed that this was not a boil water notice and warned that boiling the water would not reduce the level of manganese.
It said "elevated levels of manganese" had been found in the water supply affecting 7,785 customers.
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"Boiling the water will not reduce manganese levels and is therefore not a suitable measure to make the water safe to consume," it added.
"It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle-fed infants."
While it is considered an essential nutrient, too much manganese in drinking water can pose a number of health risks.
Manganese is found naturally in many water sources as water passing through soil and rock can dissolve minerals containing manganese.
However, Irish Water said the levels of manganese leaving the water treatment plant serving the Bailieborough area were exceeding those allowed under drinking water regulations.
Peter Gallagher, of Irish Water, said: "At the moment we are adjusting the treatment processes at the plant so that water meets all regulatory compliances."