Tipperary County Council received a query from the Health Service Executive on 29 January 2020 concerning whether or not public signage was on display at St. Patrick’s Well, Clonmel, advising that the water at the well was a non-potable source.
The Council understands that this query came about as a result of 2 no. people who had contracted VTEC (Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli), which is a disease notifiable to the HSE.
On investigation by the HSE of the circumstances surrounding the 2 no. people becoming ill, it transpired that they had consumed water from St. Patrick’s Well, which was therefore considered a potential causative factor. Accordingly, the Water Services Section of the Council undertook to analyse a sample of water from the well.
The water from the well was tested on 10 February 2020 and gave a result of 9 Total Coliform/100ml and 0 Ecoli/100ml.
The Drinking Water (Amendment) Regulations 2014 specify certain limits for various parameters in relation to potable drinking water. The relevant limit for Total Coliform is 0/100ml Coliform, which was exceeded in the sample tested on 10 February 2020.
Coliforms are found in the soil and vegetative matter.
Having reviewed the results of the tested sample and in consultation with the HSE, the Council considered that it was prudent to erect signage at the Well, advising the public, as a precautionary measure, that the source was non-potable.
Accordingly, the Council erected 2 no. signs with the following text:
DO NOT USE FOR DRINKING, WASHING OR COOKING”
These signs were erected within the curtilage of St. Patrick’s Well.
The wording on the signage is currently being reviewed. However, the signage is likely to remain indefinitely.
The water from St. Patrick’s Well is not monitored by the Council as it is not a source of drinking water and is not treated or disinfected. However, it was tested on this occasion in response to the queries raised and outlined above.
It is not intended to continue monitoring the water from the Well as it is a non-treated source and results only indicate what the quality of the water is at the particular time of sampling.
Further information, if required on this matter, is available from the Council's Water Services Directorate - Tel. 0761-06 5000
Dated: 18th February 2020