Do Not Consume Notice Issued for Achill Water Supply

August 2020

UPDATE 4TH SEPTEMBER 2020 – RESTRICTIONS LIFTED

UPDATE 4th SEPTEMBER – All water restrictions lifted and tap water safe to consume again.


The news item below was published on 7th August and is retained here for reference only. The issue is now resolved and the restrictions have been lifted.

7th August item begins:

A ‘Do Not Consume’ notice has been issued for all users on the Achill Water Supply Scheme, affecting all of Achill Island and parts of the Curraun Peninsula.

Tap water cannot be consumed even after boiling.

A number of tankers and bowsers have been deployed to locations across Achill. People are asked to bring their own containers for filling, and to boil this water before consuming. The locations of these tankers is shown in the map below:

Or click this link to view the map.


Please conserve water.
Irish Water and Mayo County Council have jointly urged all residents and visitors to Achill to please conserve water at this time.
View Conserve Water Poster (PDF doc, 83kb).


The following is the full text of the Do Not Consume notice issued by Irish Water on 7th August 2020:

Ongoing operational and mechanical issues at Achill water treatment plant have resulted in elevated levels of aluminium and turbidity being detected leaving the treatment plant and in the Achill network. The public drinking water quality is considered to be significantly compromised and an immediate risk to your health.

As a result, and following consultation with the Health Service Executive, Irish Water and Mayo County Council are issuing a Do Not Consume Notice with immediate effect to protect the health of all consumers on this scheme. This Do Not Consume Notice applies to all customers served by the Achill PWS and as indicated in the blue areas of the map.

The notice also applies to the following Group Water Schemes: Slievemore 1, Doogort 2, Dooinver, Dooega and Saile.

IMPORTANT: Boiling your water will not render it safe to drink.

Alternative Water Supplies are available at the following locations:

Irish Water make every effort to ensure that the alternative drinking water supply provided, including the tanker / bowser, and dispensing tap, are adequately disinfected. However as it is not practical to provide sterilised containers for the public to transport drinking water from the tanker to their homes, we cannot guarantee that any containers used by the public do not negatively impact or contaminate the drinking water. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, it is recommended that any members of the public who obtain water from a tanker or bowser boil the water before use.

Covid 19 – Water still suitable for hand washing as per HSE Guidelines.

1. Please use an alternative safe source of drinking water (e.g. Bottled Water) for the following:

  • Drinking
  • Preparing Drinks made with water
  • Cooking of Food.
  • Food Preparation including washing and preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating
  • Brushing of teeth and/or gargling
  • Making of ice. However, ensure you first discard all existing ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges.

IMPORTANT: Water from the hot tap of kitchen or bathroom sinks is not safe to drink.

Alternative supplies are being provided throughout the scheme. Remember to boil this water before use for drinking or for food preparation.

2. You can continue to use your internal water supply for the following:

  • Flushing of toilets
  • Personal Hygiene (showering/bathing)
  • Washing of hands (it is safe for this purpose)
  • Laundry and washing utensils

3. Caution:

  • Domestic water filters will not render your water safe to drink
  • Discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges. Make ice from an alternative safe source of water (e.g. Bottled Water)
  • If you have pets and are concerned about the impact of providing mains water while this restriction is in place, you should ask your local vet for advice

4. Only use an alternative safe source of drinking water (e.g. Bottled Water) for the following situations.

  • When preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing and preparing salads)
  • Preparing Infant Formula. Where a Do Not Consume Notice is in place, you can prepare infant formula from bottled water. 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.

5. Always Take Care:
If you are boiling bottled water to prepare infant formula, care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds. Accidents can easily happen, especially with children.

6. How long before the Do Not Consume Notice can be lifted?
We do not know at present, but Irish Water and Mayo County Council will continue to liaise with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting the restriction as soon as practicable.

7. How will we keep you informed?
You will be kept informed through the following media:

  • Website: www.water.ie ; www.mayococo.ie
  • Irish Water Customer Contact Centre: 1850 278 278
  • Local Media – Radio and Press
  • (IW registered vulnerable customers will be directly contacted)

8. Awareness for commercial premises
Irish water request that this Restriction is placed in a prominent position within your commercial premises.

Remember – Do not use your tap water for drinking or food preparation until further notice.