More than 11,000 people are being impacted by a boil water notice in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.
The notice was put in place on Monday night following consultation with the HSE, Irish Water and Wexford County Council.
The notice affects approximately 11,187 consumers supplied by the Enniscorthy Public Water Supply scheme.
The move follows the detection of cryptosporidium found following testing at the Vinegar Hill Water Treatment Plant. As a precaution, Irish Water and Wexford County Council issued the notice with immediate effect.
The notice is expected to continue for some time as drinking water experts from Irish Water and the council investigate the matter.
Irish Water’s Ronan Walsh acknowledged the impact of the notice on the community, adding that they regret the inconvenience caused.
“Public health is Irish Water’s number one priority, and we are working closely with Wexford County Council to restore drinking water quality for all impacted customers in Enniscorthy and to lift the boil water notice as quickly as it is safe to do so, and in consultation with the HSE,” Mr Walsh said.
"We have had very heavy rainfall in the Enniscorthy catchment area over the past few days and our sampling has highlighted a detection of cryptosporidium at Vinegar Hill Water Treatment Plant.
"We regret the impact that this boil water notice will have on the local community and would like to assure them that we are prioritising works to restore a safe water supply with a view of lifting the notice as soon as it is safe to do so."
Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication regarding the notice and are being reminded that the water is safe to consume once boiled and cooled.
In line with HSE advice on handwashing, Irish Water is advising that the water remains suitable for this purpose and need not be boiled.
Water must be boiled for drinking, or for the preparation of drinks made with water, in addition for use in preparating salads and similar foods which are not cooked prior to eating.
The water should also be boiled prior to use for brushing teeth, while people impacted by the notice are also being asked to discard ice and filtered water from the fridges, and replace them with cooled boiled water instead.
Caution should be also be taken when bathing children to ensure they do not swallow the bathing water, while infant feeds should use water brought to the boil once and then cooled.
Irish Water said updates on the matter will be made available on the Supply and Service Updates section of their website, on Twitter and via their customer care helpline, open 24/7 on 1800-278 278.