CORONAVIRUS

Irish Water takes measures to protect Kilkenny's water supply

'Guidance is that chlorination is sufficient to inactivate Covid-19 virus in drinking water'

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

plans are in place to ensure that essential services can be maintained if an area should be restricted or critical staff are unavailable

Irish Water has moved to reassure members of the public that HSE and WHO guidance is that chlorination is sufficient to inactivate Covid-19 virus in drinking water.

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, the Irish Water Crisis Management Team has been meeting over the past number of weeks to deal with any issues arising. Irish Water’s aim is to ensure the safety and well-being of staff and to secure the supply of water and wastewater services on the public network.

Irish Water is following HSE and Department of Health guidance for the existing situation and we are continually monitoring developments. Irish Water are also following advice and updates from the European Centre on Disease Control and the World Health Organisation.

"We would like to reassure members of the public that the recent WHO briefing is that there is no evidence to date that COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems, with or without wastewater treatment," it said in a statement.

"Business Continuity teams in Irish Water will continue to convene regularly and continue to refresh and adapt contingency plans in line with the evolving situation."

Irish Water has said it is in regular contact with local authorities and other partners to ensure that:

Staff welfare is protected and that sufficient chemicals for water and wastewater treatment continue to be available. Plans for remote working and reduced staffing are in place and tested.

Service is maintained at Irish Water's customer contact centre. Appropriate Personal Protection Equipment is available; and plans are in place to ensure that essential services can be maintained if an area should be restricted or critical staff are unavailable.

"We are asking the public, both householders and businesses to help us in maintaining vital water and wastewater services by conserving water where possible," said a statement issued this morning.

"In particular, we are asking non-domestic customers to turn off all non-essential water in buildings which are not going to be in use for a period of time, including automatic flushing of urinals for example. We are also appealing to you to check for and report leaks to 1850 278 278. We are also conscious that there may be an increased usage of antiseptic wipes at this time. We would ask that these are disposed of in a bin. Flushing wipes can cause blockages on the network.

"Finally we would like to thank our staff and our local authority partners who have shown great leadership and flexibility in the face of this crisis."