THE issuing of a precautionary boil water notice via Facebook and the County Council web-site prompted a furious reaction from consumers in south Laois.
The residents of Graiguecullen, Killeshin Road, Sleaty Road, Springhill Road, Crosneen Road and Killeshin Village were advised last Tuesday morning via a message posted on the Laois County Council Facebook page to boil water being used for human consumption, food and drink preparation, brushing of teeth and making of ice.
And following stinging criticism from Facebook followers, Laois County Council responded and stressed at 7.56am on Wednesday that they notified local radio stations about the boil notice.
Colette Murphy had earlier enquired, “Why is this only on face book and not on the radio and papers or letters to people as lots of people are not on Facebook.”
Catriona Holden said the situation “is a disgrace” and Natasha Dawson commented, “Considering this page (Laois County Council’s Facebook page) only has 338 likes I assume you are going to be issuing a better statement than this?”
Replying to Ms Dawson, a post from ‘Water Services’ Laois County Council emphasised it was a ‘precautionary’ notice. “If it was a serious issue we would have carried out a door to door notice drop.”
The County Council spokesperson said the water wasn’t contaminated and the situation arose due to a pump malfunction. “The Council became aware of the issue at approximately 3.30 pm yesterday and acted immediately in what was thought to be the most appropriate way.”
By 8.43am, Jasmine Dooley hit back, “The water has been bad for months now. In 4 weeks I had to buy 2 kettles. So how do u figure out the problem was only noticed yesterday at 3.30 pm?”
Emma Doran concurred with Jasmine. “On my 3rd kettle cause of the lime in the water. Never had a problem before that. If you get a glass of water you can see the lime floating around in it and there is a smell off it.”
Leonie Burke also expressed deep frustration. “I’m on my 2nd kettle even though I started filtering the water. Also have had to replace washing machine and electric shower due to the limescale and am always purchasing descaling products. All these costs add up - hope thats going to be taken into consideration when we are expected to pay water charges!”
On Thursday Laois County Council informed its Facebook followers that the chlorine pump had been repaired and all pumps were operating.
However by Friday afternoon the boil notice hadn’t been rescinded prompting Eilish Cuddy to comment, “Boiled water notice is still on till after the weekend even though the problem is fixed!”
And on Laois County Council’s web-site at 5.30pm on Friday the message accompanying the boil notice read, “We are currently working to resolve this issue.”
Yesterday morning (Monday, October 1), Eoin Reynolds Executive Engineer confirmed that the boil notice was being reviewed hourly and by early afternoon the notice was rescinded.