People using the public water supplies in two local schemes in Donegal are being warned that they must boil their water before use today.
It has come to the attention of Irish Water and Donegal County Council that the water supply served by the Fintown Public Water Supply is contaminated with cryptosporidium.
Following advice from the Health Service Executive, Irish Water and Donegal County Council are issuing a Boil Water Notice to protect the health of consumers.
This notice applies to consumers on the Fintown Public Water Supply and the Meenmore Meenatinney group water scheme served from the supply who must boil water before use.
Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that is found mainly in the faeces of infected humans or animals. If infection occurs, it may cause symptoms including diarrhoea that lasts 1 to 2 weeks, often accompanied by abdominal cramps, tiredness, nausea, vomiting and low grade fever.
To safely prepare water:
Boil water by bringing to a vigorous, rolling boil (e.g. with an automatic kettle) and allow to cool. Cover and store in a refrigerator or cold place. Water from the hot tap is not safe to drink. Domestic water filters will not render water safe to drink.
It is not yet known how long the boil water notice will be in place. Irish Water and Donegal County Council have said they will continue to liaise with the Health Service Executive with a view to lifting the Boil Water Notice as soon as practicable.
Persons with an impaired immune system, young children and older people are most at risk of picking up Cryptosporidium.
To avoid infection: Boiled water must be used for all purposes which may lead to consumption, including drinking, preparation of salads and similar foods which are not cooked prior to eating, brushing of teeth, making of ice.
People are being told to discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges and to make ice from cooled boiled water.
Use water prepared for drinking when preparing foods that will not be cooked (e.g. washing salads).
Water can be used for personal hygiene, bathing and flushing of toilets but not for brushing teeth or gargling.
Caution should be taken when bathing children to ensure that they do not swallow the bathing water.
Prepare infant feeds with water that has been brought to the boil once and cooled, but do not use water that has been re-boiled several times.
Great care should be taken with boiled water to avoid burns and scalds as accidents can easily happen, especially with children.
Anyone suffering from diarrhoea for more than two days should contact their GP and provide a stool sample for testing. They should continue to drink plenty of boiled or bottled water.
As Cryptosporidium can be passed from animals to humans, and people are advised to ensure that they and their children always wash your hands after handling any animals (including pets) or after visiting a farm. Do not drink unpasteurised milk.Tags: