Whitegate Boil Water Notice Likely To Be Lifted Soon

By Seamus Whelehan

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Thousands of East Cork residents who have been placed on a boil water notice for the second time in as many months, should find out soon if it is being lifted.

The Whitegate regional supply has been marred with boil water notices since last November, as a result of extreme weather conditions.

The latest prohibition was placed on the spring last Sunday (16 February) affecting almost 10,000 people living in Whitegate, Aghada, Rostellan, Saleen, Cloyne, Ballycotton, Churchtown, Shanagarry and Ballinacurra.

County Engineer Kevin Morey says the latest restriction “is not very likely to be a very long-term boil water notice.”

The restraint was put in place because of high levels of turbidity (murkiness) in the supply, in addition to a substantial break in a water main coming from one of the disinfection filters.

Mr Morey told Monday’s Southern Committee that works are ongoing to repair the pipe.

He said once the repair is completed there will be a period of testing before the boil water notice is lifted, and he apologised of behalf of Irish Water for any inconvenience which may be caused.

Currently the reservoir treats raw water from the Dower spring with both ultra violet and chlorination.

During a torrential downpour turbidity levels can increase triggering alarms resulting in the disconnection of the water source. This then affects the storage levels at the regional supply.

The Ultra Violet (UV) process operates as a disinfection method, killing microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions.

In high levels of turbidity the effective operation of UV disinfection cannot be guaranteed, and its use as a cryptosporidium barrier is compromised.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite that can cause the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. Both the disease and the parasite are commonly known as "Crypto."

Chlorination is used to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid.

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