Water declared safe to drink after tests

Tap water in Co Limerick was declared safe to drink tonight after concerns the supply may have been contaminated during freak flooding.

Thousands of households in Newcastle West were told to boil their water before consuming it after torrential rain caused the River Arra to burst its banks early Friday.

Limerick County Council raised concerns about the safety of the water supply as the local treatment plant was hit by the first flood in the town in living memory.

But extensive testing by the authority’s environmental laboratory staff revealed the water continues to meet drinking standards.

Donal Brennan of Limerick County Council said: “The introduction of a boil notice was deemed a necessary precautionary measure to ensure that public health was not put at risk.

“Limerick County Council is delighted to be able to remove boil notice and would like to thank the public for their support.”

The cost of the damage in Newcastle West after the River Arra burst its banks was estimated at millions of euro.

Thousands of households remained without electricity on Friday as distraught residents and business-owners helped in the massive clear-up operation.

Firefighters and rescue workers fought for four hours to save drowning cattle stranded in a field close to Rathkeale, north of the town.

More than 2000 homes lost power and local roads were impassable for a time.

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