Monaghan County Council

Comhairle Contae Mhuineachain


Do Not Consume Notice Donaghmoyne GWS consumers

Do Not Consume Notice Donaghmoyne GWS consumers

Public Alert: Drinking Water Restriction 


Donaghmoyne GWS


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Date of Drinking Water Restriction Notice: 07/06/2022


Ongoing issues at Donaghmoyne GWS water treatment plant have resulted in elevated levels of manganese being detected leaving the treatment plant and in the Donaghmoyne GWS network. The drinking water quality is considered to be considerably compromised and an immediate risk to your health. 


As a result, following consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Monaghan County Council, Donaghmoyne GWS 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 Donaghmoyne GWS. 


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

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 and will be notified to you by Donaghmoyne GWS. 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) 

• • 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 Donaghmoyne GWS will continue to liaise with the Monaghan County Council and Health Service Executive (HSE) with a view to lifting the restriction as soon as practicable. 


7: How will we keep you informed? 

You will be kept informed through Donaghmoyne GWS and social media outlets.


For any queries please contact Donaghmoyne GWS.

8: Awareness for commercial premises 

Donaghmoyne GWS request that this Restriction is placed in a prominent position within your commercial premises.


9.At Risk Groups

Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children.


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


Do Not Consume Notice Issued by: 

Donaghmoyne GWS in Consultation with the HSE and Monaghan County Council.

Manganese in Drinking Water

Frequently Asked Questions

Drinking water is sometimes tested for the presence of metals. 

Metals can be present in drinking water but they are subject to specific legal limits. 

Manganese is an example of a metal that can be found in drinking water.

The following Frequently Asked Questions have been developed to give you more information if high levels of manganese are found in your drinking water (whether you are on a public or private water supply). 


1. What is manganese?

Manganese is a silver-grey metal that occurs naturally in soil, water and rocks. 

It is used mainly in the manufacture of iron and steel. It is also used in products such as fireworks, paints and cosmetics.

It is an important element in our diets and small amounts are necessary for good health.

2. How can I be exposed to manganese?


Our greatest exposure to manganese is usually from food. Nuts, grains, beans and tea are rich in manganese.  


3. How does manganese get into drinking water?

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.  This is the most likely source of manganese in drinking water.

4. What is the acceptable level of manganese in drinking water?

In Ireland, the European Drinking Water Regulations 2014 have set a limit of 50 µg/l (micrograms per litre) because, above this, manganese can affect the colour (appearing black-ish) and the taste of the water.  It can also stain laundry and plumbing fixtures. 

Drinking water will generally become unpalatable (discoloured with an unpleasant taste) at levels above 50 µg/l which will deter you from drinking it.

High manganese levels in drinking water can be a risk to health. Some groups in the population are more vulnerable such as babies in the womb, infants and young children. New scientific studies show that high manganese levels in drinking water may have a harmful effect on the nervous system and brain development. 

Therefore, it is advised that you should not drink water with manganese levels above 120 µg/l.i

This limit is intended to protect everyone in the population, and is based on the most vulnerable such as babies in the womb, infants and young children.

5. How would I know if there is manganese in my drinking water?

The only way to know if you have high levels of manganese is to test your water.

If your drinking water is tested for manganese, you should be aware of the result.

At levels above 50 µg/l, manganese can cause an unpleasant taste in drinking water and can stain laundry and plumbing fixtures (black colour).

6. How might manganese affect my health?

Exposure to high levels of manganese can affect the nervous system.

A condition called manganism that resembles Parkinson’s disease has been reported in metal workers and smelters who were exposed to very high levels of inhaled manganese at work.

Scientific research shows that drinking water with high levels of manganese may pose a health risk with recent international studies suggesting that it may affect the nervous system and brain development in children.

7. Who might be at higher risk of health effects? 

Infants and young children seem to be more vulnerable to the potentially harmful effects of high levels of manganese in drinking water. They absorb more manganese and their bodies are less able to remove it.

Babies in the womb, pregnant women and breast-feeding women are also considered to be more susceptible.

Other vulnerable groups include people who are anaemic (i.e. low levels of iron in their blood) - more manganese is absorbed when the body has low levels of iron - and those with liver disease and the elderly.

8. What is the HSE’s health advice on manganese in drinking water?


• It is advised that you should not drink water with manganese levels above 120 µg/l.  


It is likely that the water will not be palatable at these levels anyway. In general, drinking water becomes discoloured (black-ish) with an unpleasant taste at levels above 50 µg/l (legal limit).  This will deter you from drinking it. 


• The risk of health effects is greater for certain vulnerable groups (as set out in question 7). If you are in one of these risk groups and especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or if you care for an infant or young child (particularly if their feeds come from formula or baby foods made up with tap water), you should not drink water with manganese levels above 120 µg/l. You are advised to use an alternative drinking water source or install appropriate treatment to remove manganese from your water. 


• For adults and older children who are not in the risk groups set out in question 7, drinking water with manganese levels slightly above 120 µg/l for short periods of time is unlikely to cause negative health effects.  Nonetheless, if your drinking water is found to contain high manganese levels, you should contact the agencies as outlined in questions 9 and 10 who will provide you with further advice.


9. What happens next?


• Further sampling of your drinking water may be required. 


• If you are on a public supply, Irish Water will advise you.


• If you are on a private regulated supply, you can contact your Local Authority for advice.


• If you are on a private well, you can also contact your Local Authority for advice. 


• You may have to consider using an alternative drinking water supply or installing appropriate water treatment. 


10. Where can I get further advice?


• Irish Water


• Environmental Protection Agency


• Your local County or City Council


• Your local HSE Department of Public Health


• Your local HSE Environmental Health Service 


• Your GP if you are concerned about existing health problems or symptoms


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Original SMS Content: The HSE following consultation with Monaghan County Council and Donaghmoyne GWS have issued a Do Not Consume Notice for Donaghmoyne private GWS.