IRISH WATER say that low levels of a naturally occurring substance caused drinking water in some parts of Dublin to have an unusual smell and taste.
The company revealed that they received over 450 reports of an unnatural odour or taste from drinking water from Dublin customers in August.
The cause of the change in taste and smell was due to the presence of very low levels of a naturally occurring substance called MIB (2-Methylisoborneol).
MIB is a naturally occurring organic substance produced by algae found in lakes, rivers, streams and reservoirs.
While MIB can result in some people detecting an earthy, musty smell and taste from their drinking water, it is not harmful to human health and, according to the World Health Organisation Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, MIB has no public health significance.
Irish Water confirmed that drinking water microbiological and chemical analysis carried out on water produced at their water treatment plants serving the Greater Dublin Area is compliant with drinking water regulations.
Water produced at their treatment plants is tested daily in conjunction with extensive monitoring in the distribution network and is safe to drink.
Speaking about the detection of MIB in the drinking water, Tom Cuddy, Asset Operations Support Services Manager, Irish Water said:
“Our primary focus is the protection of public health and we would like to reassure customers that the water coming from all of the drinking water plants serving Dublin is safe to drink.
“We understand the concerns raised by some customers in relation to the smell or taste of their drinking water, however MIB is not toxic or harmful and the water remains safe to drink.
“As a precaution, we have increased testing on the supply and will keep the situation under review.”
Further information on drinking water quality can be found on the Drinking Water Quality section of Irish Water’s website and information relating to taste and smell of water can be found on their Taste and Smell page.