Sunday 16 June 2019

Christmas Eve 'Do Not Consume' order still in place

Myles Buchanan

Kiltegan residents rang in the new year having not being able to consume water from their mains supply for over a week.

Irish Water, having consulted with the HSE, issued a 'Do Not Consume' notice to all 269 customers on the Kiltegan Water Supply Scheme just after 10 a.m. on Christmas Eve after elevated levels of nitrate were found in the water supply.

Cllr Tommy Cullen, the Cathaoirleach of Baltinglass Municipal District, said the timing of the water restrictions couldn't have been any worse.

'Having to notify people of a do not consume notice on the morning of Christmas Eve is far from ideal. It's a terrible time for this to happen. I rang as many people as I could in the morning and then we carried out leaflet drops later in the afternoon. A lot of people I contacted already had their Christmas ham and vegetables soaking in water. It's an appalling situation to be in at this time of year. I'd say a few Christmas dinners were ruined but the levels of nitrates in the water was very high,' said Cllr Cullen.

The notice means that water can't be used for drinking, drinks made with water, food preparation, the brushing of teeth or the making of ice. The water also should not be used for making up infant formula for bottled fed infants. The water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils.

In May of 2018 another Do Not Consume notice was in place in Kiltegan for over a month.

'People want to know how long was the water contaminated for before the notice was issued on Christmas Eve?' said Cllr Cullen. 'Residents are angry and frustrated. They were already over a month without water in the summer during one of the hottest periods on record'.

Irish Water provided bottled water beside Katie Lowes Pub on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day and bottled water will continue to be provided on a daily basis until the notice is lifted.

Wicklow People