Irish Water apologises to customers in east Cavan

Irish Water has apologised to customers on the Bailieborough Public Water Scheme for "failings" in the way in which it handled the issuing of a 'Do Not Consume' notice in the run-up to Christmas 2019 and assured them the water is safe to drink and action has been taken to remedy their in-house reporting systems.

From early October 2019, there were repeated recordings of high levels of manganese in water serving the supply scheme, which serves a population of 7,785 customers in County Cavan including the areas of Bailieborough, Killinkere, Virginia, Crossbane and Mullagh.

Uisce Éireann was responding to a report by the independent water regulator in which it criticised the body for 'non compliance' issues, particularly in the way it handled complaints and communicated with customers.

The full statement from Irish Water reads as follows:

'The protection of public health is a top priority for Irish Water and over 99% of the water we produce meets or exceeds the required standards and is safe to drink. Irish Water would like to apologise to customers who were impacted by the Do Not Consume notice issued on the Bailieborough Public Water Supply in December 2019 and for the issues with their water supply leading up to that event and to assure them that their water is now safe to drink.

'Irish Water has noted the findings of the CRU’s investigation into compliance with the utility’s Code of Practice. Irish Water has accepted the CRU’s findings and we apologise to customers for the failings identified. Actions to remedy most of these have already been, or are being, implemented. This includes training for staff in all 31 Local Authorities around Compliance Incident Awareness including specific training with relevant Irish Water and Cavan County Council Water Services Staff and this was refreshed once again last month.

'Irish Water continues to work closely with Cavan County Council’s water services department to ensure robust systems are in place to deal with incidents when they occur and that ongoing continuous improvement takes place across all water supplies in the county.

'We continue to work closely with the EPA to keep the agency updated on the progress of works at the plant. All of the necessary works to bring the plant back into compliance are now complete and we expect the supply to be removed from the EPA’s Remedial Action List in Q4.

'Comprehensive risk assessments of public water supplies are continuously undertaken by Irish Water to support the utility’s commitment to providing a safe and reliable drinking water supply to our customers.

'Irish Water continues to liaise with the HSE and the EPA as part of the consultation process on matters of public health as required under the Drinking Water Regulations. Further work is ongoing in Irish Water to ensure compliance with the Code of Practice and Customer Handbook.'


To read the key findings from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Ireland’s independent energy and water regulator's investigation into the matter, click HERE