Around 300 people in east Cork are facing into their second Christmas with no water supply, due to what local people describe as dangerously high levels of iron from old pipes.

In August 2018, Irish Water issued a "Do Not Use" notice to around 70 homes at Belvelly near Cobh. Residents in the area have been told by the company that the water is not safe to consume, even if it is boiled.

Cast iron pipes have been replaced in the area since the notice was first issued, however, the supply may not be restored before Christmas.

For the last 15 months, locals have been making daily trips to fill up empty bottles at the Irish Water tanker.

"We don't have decent water," says Ali Cullinane, spokeswoman of Belvelly Residents. "The water from here [the Irish Water tanker], you have to boil it so again, you have to bring it home and boil it before you actually use it.

"I’m bringing empty bottles to friend’s houses and filling them on a regular basis. I mean, picture doing this for 15 months."

After years of lobbying, work to improve the quality of the water supply finally got under way in Belvelly last May. However, it will be weeks before testing is completed and the water is approved for use.

Irish Water has apologised again, but people in the community say they cannot wait any longer.

Meanwhile, the company has said that a boil water notice for people living in parts of counties Dublin, Kildare and Meath will not be lifted before Friday.

The utility had previously said normal service to the customers might be resumed tomorrow but now say they do not expect that to happen.

Up to 600,000 people are affected by the notice, which arose as a result of weather affecting water quality at the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant.

Due to heavy rainfall, large amounts of organic matter were washed into reservoirs, increasing the turbidity - or 'cloudiness' - of the source water above acceptable levels.

The company says that it is holding ongoing meetings with the EPA and the HSE to discuss criteria for lifting the notice "as quickly and as safely as possible".

Irish Water also says that it is aware of a status yellow rainfall warning which is in effect until 9pm tomorrow evening. It says that it cannot say what impact any weather warning may have on the water produced at the Leixlip plant.

It said: "We are looking at a range of solutions to ensure that increases in cloudiness in the water can be managed more effectively by the old plant.

"It is not possible to say conclusively at this time what impact any particular weather warning may have on the water produced but we will be monitoring the situation closely."