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Localised water quality issue in the Meigh area

02 August 2018 15:23

NI Water staff are dealing with a localised water quality issue in the Meigh area of Newry; a number of customers reported an unusual smell, similar to petrol or oil, from tap water.

Samples were lifted immediately and bottled water was issued to customers, as a precautionary measure.

NI Water teams have carried out a number of actions to remedy this issue, including a flushing exercise to clear the system. We will continue to flush as long as necessary to resolve the problem.

In the interim, a ‘Do Not Use Tap Water for Drinking or Cooking’ notice was issued to 43 homes. Bottled water has also been provided to all properties affected.

Our number one priority is the quality and safety of drinking water and our policy is to err on the side of caution. If we believe there is cause for concern in relation to your drinking water, we will keep you informed.

This area was affected by a similar issue in 2015. At the time, NI Water identified that a third party spill of diesel/petrol had entered the distribution system which impacted water quality. Substantial work was undertaken at the time including replacing an air valve, pipe work and stop valves.

As this situation has reoccurred, further investigations have uncovered a disused pipe, approximately 18 inches in length, which contained residual diesel/petrol. We have now disconnected this pipework from the system. We are also arranging to have a section of watermain and services replaced with barrier pipework to avoid any future ground contamination impacting on the water supply. NI Water is liaising with NIEA in relation to the ground contamination.

NI Water is providing updates to affected residents and have arranged to meet with elected representatives to outline actions that have been taken and are being taken to prevent this situation arising again.

Any customer with a concern in relation to their water supply should phone Waterline on 03457 440088.


All media enquiries to NI Water Press Office on 028 9035 4710 or email

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