A DO Not Consume notice impacting around 7,500 recipients on the Shannon/Sixmilebridge Public Water Supply was finally lifted on Tuesday.
It had been issued due to elevated levels of manganese in the water supply.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council PJ Ryan said it is unlikely the problem will arise again.
“They tell me that it won’t ever happen again now, because they have invested in a new filtration system which should eliminate it. The last time we had the problem in 1995, a year everyone will remember, and that’s 26 years ago now.”
He said that the Council had provided water to the public, but there was still a lot of disruption.
“In fairness to the Council they provided a good supply of water to the area, but people weren’t able to wash clothes and things like that.”
Communication needs to be better whenever future issues arise, he added, “People were very nervous, people with young children and expectant mothers. Lessons need to be learned, people need to be notified of things sooner. Hopefully with the new equipment we won’t have the problem again.”
Fianna Fáil Councillor Pat O’Gorman said that it had been hard for the local representatives to provide information to people.
“It took a long time and it was very hard to get a date when it would be fixed. I know they were testing to rectify the problem, but when people asked us for a timeline we didn’t have it.”
Damage was done to the tanks from which water was provided, which made things more difficult, he said.
“There were three taps stolen in Sixmilebridge, two in Kilmurry and two at the Wells Church in Clonmoney.
“They were stolen off the front of the tanks that were there, they were the taps that would release the water into your container, they were stolen on Saturday night.
“There was a bit of a fiasco there with trying to get taps fitted again first thing on Monday morning.”
With the taps having very little monetary value, he said it was likely that vandals caused the damage, he said, but there was still some water available.
“There were two in Cratloe working, there was one in Clonmoney that you could still operate, and one in Sixmilebridge you could operate.”
He said the spell without water highlighted a need for more clarity around local water infrastructure.
“We’ll have to know exactly where every pipe is going. There was an awful lot of confusion around it, where the water was coming from, what direction the pipes were going when the water was being delivered.
“The likes of Drumline wasn’t affected, but Deerpark which bounds it, was.
“One thing we’ve learned is that we need to find out exactly how the pipes operate, where they come from and go to.”
Duane O’Brien of Irish Water said: “Irish Water acknowledges and understands the impact this Do Not Consume Notice had on the communities on the Shannon/SIxmilebridge Water Supply and we sincerely regret the inconvenience.
“Our drinking water compliance and operational experts worked hard to resolve this issue as quickly and as safely as possible and we endeavoured to keep stakeholders updated at every stage of the process.
“We are grateful to the media, elected representatives and members of the public who shared the information. We would also like to thank Clare County Council and HSE for their input and support throughout the process.”
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.