Tuesday 24 September 2019

Water ban imposed on more than 1,000 households after children break out in rashes

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor

MORE than 1,000 households have been told not to use water for drinking or even washing.

Irish Water has told residents in the south Meath area of Kilcloon to avoid using water due to elevated chlorine levels.

It is understood that a number of young children have been coming out in bad rashes and others have been reported as “very sick”.

Local Fianna Fáil TD Thomas Byrne told Independent.ie that a “full explanation” is needed from Irish Water quickly.

He said the townlands affected by the ‘no drink and no wash’ warning include: Kilcloon, Moygaddy, Killeany, Kilgraigue, Harristown, Brownstown, Ballynare, Butlerstown, Staffordstown, Brownrath, Blackhall Little, Waynestown, Harlockstown, Ballymacoll in Co Meath.

"It is not yet clear as to how elevated chlorine levels occurred. We need an urgent explanation for the illnesses and injuries already suffered by local residents in the Kilcloon area,” Mr Byrne said.

“I'm shocked that Irish Water are only now responding to this crisis, having been alerted to the issue on Monday by a local resident.

“I understand from local people that young children have been getting very sick and there are some reports of children getting bad rashes. This is a very serious public health issue, that demands urgent attention and explanation.”

Irish Water has this evening said it has not been contacted about any incidents of sick children.

But it reiterated that customers must not drink the water, use it for food preparation or wash in the water until further notice.

“Customers are advised to draw down water from attic/storage tank, customers should flush toilets or run bathroom taps intermittently, as tanks re-fill chlorine levels in storage tank will return to normal,” a spokesperson said.

The HSE advises that the water from this supply is unsafe to:

  •     Consume for drinking;
  •     Use in connection with food preparation; and
  •     Use for personal hygiene, including brushing teeth and bathing.
  •     All prepared drinks, foods, ice cubes and baby foods which contain water from the network should be discarded.

In the interest of Public Health, it is advised that all users (i.e. domestic and commercial) on the affected scheme should not use tap water until further notice except for:

  •     Flushing of toilets; and
  •     Flushing of internal house plumbing systems.

Bottled water is available at Kilcloon Church and Kilcloon School.

For more information and additional advice, Irish Water can be contacted at 1850 278 278.

Have you or your children been affected by any of the water issues reported in this article and wish to share your experience? Email digital@independent.ie

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