Farmers continue to struggle due to water contamination

Some farmers in south Tipperary are continuing to struggle through their daily workloads without a drinkable water supply.

A ‘do not drink’ notice was issued to locals last week, after it was discovered that the Fethard PWS (Public Water Supply) was contaminated with kerosene.

As well as this, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine confirmed that this warning would also apply to animals.

Farmers who are concerned that their livestock may have consumed contaminated water are advised to contact their local vet for advice or their local contact in the department.

Areas affected include Fethard, Killenaule, Gortnahoe, Ballysloe, Ballynonty, Moyglass, Mullinahone, Drangan, Glengoole, Cloneen, Ballinure, Killusty and surrounding areas.

It is believed that the ‘do not drink’ notice could remain in place for a number of weeks.

At such a busy time of year, this contamination has led to unnecessary stress on farmers, the chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Tipperary South branch, Erica O’Keeffe, recently told AgriLand.

She indicated that farmers in the region have turned to private wells to source water. Glanbia is also continuing to provide its suppliers with water in order to prevent disruptions to milk production on farms.

Farmers who don’t have a private well are relying on neighbours to supply them with water, O’Keeffe added.

Water tankers have also been dispatched by Irish Water to the affected localities for human consumption.

Both Irish Water and Tipperary County Council reminded customers in the Fethard region that, as a partial supply returned over the weekend, the ‘do not drink’ notice remains in place until further notice.

In a statement, Irish Water said: “Good progress has been made in managing the network to restore water for washing and other sanitary purposes – and the majority of people on the scheme should have a water supply over the coming days.

“However, this water is untreated and is not safe for human consumption. The ‘do not drink’ notice remains in place until further notice. Boiling the water will not be sufficient to make it suitable for consumption.”