Water in Limerick becomes contaminated

Aoíbhín Bryant

Irish Water urge people to not use the water in Rathkeale due to contamination. Image Credit: US Marine Corps

The public water supply of Rathkeale, Co. Limerick has been deemed “not drinkable” due to its high levels of turbidity.

Irish Water have issued out a “Do Not Drink” warning because of “elevated turbidity levels”, turbidity is the cloudiness of the water.

Turbidity is usually caused after bouts of heavy rain or when algae has grown in the water source, it is when suspended particles get into the water and make it less transparent.

Irish Water have urged people to not drink the water, use it when brushing your teeth, preparing food or the making of the ice. Irish Water have also stated that “boiling the water will not be sufficient to make it suitable to drink.” However, the water can be used for showering and bathing.

The warning affects any consumers whose water is supplied by the Rathkeale Water Supply, including surrounding areas of Knockaderry and Kilcolman.

It is still unknown how long this “Do Not Drink” notice will last but Irish Water hope to do so “as soon as practicable”.

Around 2,500 customers are estimated to have been affected by the notice.

Marcie O’Brien, who lives in the vicinity of the Rathkeale area, says there has been a slight disturbance to the daily life of the village.

“We’ve been buying bottled water for the time being, so it is an extra expense,” she said, “It’s really just a nuisance, although it is better to be safe than sorry”.

“I just hope that it will be cleared up soon so everything can go back to normal, I miss being properly hydrated. Washing the dishes has also been a chore”.

A Water Tanker is available at The Square, Rathkeale and Knockaderry village. Supplies of water are also to be delivered to schools as well as vulnerable customers.

Drilling work has also begun in order to find an alternative water source.

The measure was taken after advise from both the HSE and Limerick County Council.

In a statement, Irish Water have thanked Rathkeale customers “for their patience and support as we work to resolve this issue.”

Irish Water have also set up at helpline at 1850 278 278.

By Aoíbhín Bryant.

Image Credit: US Marine Corps