Irish Water extends Do Not Drink notice to take in County Limerick village

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Householders  in the Knockaderry area have now been advised not to drink their tap water

Householders in the Knockaderry area have now been advised not to drink their tap water

HOUSEHOLDERS in the Knockaderry area have now been advised not to drink their tap water. 

The Do Not Drink notice was extended to Knockaderry late this Monday afternoon. They now join their neighbours in Rathkeale where households and businesses have been without drinking water for four days running. 

Knockaderry is normally supplied from the Rathkeale supply. However, when the problem with the Rathkeale supply was discovered on Friday, the Knockaderry area was switched to a supply from Newcastle West.

“Unfortunately, the Newcastle West supply is not coping with the extra demand from Knockaderry and the supply has to be switched back to the Rathkeale supply,” Irish Water said in a statement this afternoon. 

A tankard of water has been made available in the Square in Rathkeale and in Knockaderry village. 

The Do Not Drink Notice was put in place in Rathkeale last Friday and Irish Water issued a statement this lunchtime saying that it will continue in place until further notice

Work is underway to try and resolve the matter as soon as possible, a spokesman for Irish Water said.

“We are carrying out water sampling in the area and we will share the results of this testing with the HSE,” he said, explaining that turbidity was the reason behind the Do Not Drink notice in the first place. 

Drilling work is also taking in the area to identify possibly alternative water sources, he added. 

Meanwhile, supplies of bottled water will be available and can be collected at the Square, Rathkeale. If elderly or vulnerable customers have particular requirements for water they can contact 1850 278 278.

But Fine Gael TD Tom Neville has slammed Irish Water for their poor handling of the situation and for their failure to update customers over the weekend. 

“The website was not updated since Friday,” he said. “I am critical of the communications process. Irish Water should not be relying on public representatives to get the message out there. We will help of course but there needs to be more direct communication with customers.” 

It should be possible he argued to send individual text updates to customers. “If there is a data protection issue, let me know and we can change the law,” he said. 

Deputy Neville was also critical of the way bottled water was delivered to the 2,500 or so customers affected.

“They changed the goal posts,” he charged. First it was supposed to happen on Friday, then on Saturday. 

A helpline has been set up on 1850 278 278.