A boil water notice for East Cork is to remain in place for several months, according to Irish Water.

Irish Water is advising customers that the boil water notice on the Whitegate/Dower rural water supply scheme is to remain in place for a further six to eight months. The Whitegate water treatment plant supplies 10,000 customers in Whitegate, East Cork, with nine million litres of water every day.

In a statement issued today, Irish Water said ground surrounding the water treatment plant is water-logged due to record rainfall in recent months.

"The adverse weather conditions are leading to high turbidity, or cloudiness, in the water supplying the water treatment plant," said the statement.

"High turbidity levels have occurred at Whitegate over the last couple of months and, on the advice of the Health Service Executive (HSE), during these periods, three separate precautionary boil water notices were already imposed in the interest of public health to eliminate the risk of infection," said the statement.

"Irish Water wishes to apologise to our customers affected by this issue and reassure them that they will not be liable to charges for drinking water supply while the boil water notice remains in place," added the statement.

Irish Water is planning upgrade works at the treatment plant but said the work will take between six and eight months to complete.

Irish Water is also working on a longer term solution to connect the water network in Whitegate to a more reliable source.

"Although the Whitegate area has experienced rainfall four times higher than last winter, there needs to be a permanent robust water supply and adequate water treatment processes in place, that are resilient to adverse weather conditions," said Aisling Buckley, Regional Information Officer at Irish Water. 

Customers in the affected area are advised to boil all water for drinking, food preparation, brushing of teeth and making of ice. Water can be used as normal for bathing and flushing of toilets.