Do Not Consume Notice issued for customers supplied by the Bailieborough Public Water Supply Scheme


I raised with Irish Water on a number of occasions concerns about the difficulties with the Bailieborough Public Water Supply Scheme which services a large area of East Cavan.

Below is the most recent response received from Irish Water.  Again I have asekd Irish Water to have these issues addressed with the utmost urgency.


Do Not Consume Notice issued for customers supplied by the Bailieborough Public Water Supply Scheme

December 13 2019 – Following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE) Irish Water, working in partnership with Cavan County Council, has issued a Do Not Consume Notice for all consumers on the Bailieborough Public Water Supply Scheme due to elevated levels of manganese in the water supply. The notice applies to 7,785 customers served by the Bailieborough Public Water Supply including Bailieborough, Killinkere, Virginia, Crossbane and Mullagh.

Please note this is not a Boil Water Notice. Boiling the water will not reduce manganese levels and is therefore not a suitable measure to make the water safe to consume. It is especially important that mains drinking water is not given to bottle fed infants. This notice does not apply to other areas and water schemes in County Cavan

Manganese is found naturally in many surface water (lake and river water) and groundwater (underground water) sources. Water passing through soil and rock can dissolve minerals containing manganese. The levels leaving the water treatment plant are in exceedance of those permitted under the drinking water regulations and at a level where the HSE have advised a restriction on use.

Tankers will be in place from 1pm today to provide an alternative water supply to customers. Customers are reminded to use their own containers when taking water from the tankers and to boil water before consumption as a precautionary measure.

Water tankers will be located in the following areas:

  • Bailieborough Old Courthouse, Main St
  • Virginia – The Showgrounds, New St
  • Mullagh – Heritage Centre Car Park
  • Killinkere – Church Car Park
  • Crossbane – Church Car Park

Irish Water drinking water compliance and operational experts are working with colleagues in Cavan County Council to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

Peter Gallagher Irish Water advises “At the moment we are adjusting the treatment processes at the plant so the water meets all regulatory compliances.  Once this has been achieved, we will begin flushing to clear out any remaining non-compliant water in the network.  Alternative sources of water will be provided for drinking and  you can continue to use your internal water supply for flushing of toilets, personal hygiene (showering/bathing), laundry and washing utensils.  Water from the hot tap of the kitchen or bathroom is not safe to drink”

Irish Water is working closely with Cavan County Council to rectify the situation and will keep the public informed, through

IW registered vulnerable customers affected by this notice will be contacted directly and advised on water supplies Peter added “Irish Water acknowledges the impact on a Do Not Consume Notice has on the local community.  We are working hard to address the issue and will continue to work closely with Cavan County Council and the HSE to monitor the supply and lift the notice as quickly as it is safe to do so and safeguard the supply for the future”.

This water should not be used for

  • Drinking
  • Drinks made with water
  • Food preparation, washing or cooking of food,
  • Brushing of teeth
  • Making of ice
  • Children under 12 months old should not drink this water
  • In particular, children under 12 months old should not drink this water. This water should not be used for making up infant formula for bottled fed infants. An alternative source of water should be used. Bottled water can also be used to make up infant formula. All bottled water, with the exception of natural mineral water, is regulated to the same standard as drinking water. It is best not to use bottled water labelled as ‘Natural Mineral Water’ as it can have high levels of sodium (salt) and other minerals, although it rarely does. ‘Natural Mineral Water’ can be used if no other water is available, for as short a time as possible, as it is important to keep babies hydrated.
  • If bottled water is used to make up infant formula it should be boiled once (rolling boil for 1 minute), and cooled in the normal way
  • Ready-to-use formula that does not need added water can also be used.
  • Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink
  • Caution should be taken when bathing infants to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water
  • Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges

What can you use water for?

  • The water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing, flushing toilets, laundry and washing of utensils
  • Irish Water and Cavan  County Council will continue to liaise with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting this drinking water restriction as soon as practicable.

Updates will be available on our Water Supply Updates section, on Twitter @IWCare and via our customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1850 278 278.