Just as we learn that a serious outbreak of cryptosporidium has occurred on a local farm this month, April 2022, we are also learning from the Mid-West Department of Public Health that the region recorded 121 outbreaks in 2021 alone. This is three times higher than the previous year and now means the Mid-West has one of the highest rates of cryptosporidium outbreaks in Ireland.
The Mid-West Dept of Public Health is advising members of the public, particularly those on or around farms and rural areas, to test and treat their water supplies if they are using well water, in order to reduce the risk of of cryptosporidium infection. They also advise people on or near farms, particularly dairy farms to wash their hands regularly with soap and water to minimise the risk of getting infected.
People living in rural areas of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary should get their well water tested regularly due to the high concentration of intensive dairy farms in the region. It is becoming common for water wells to be contaminated due to slurry and other run-off from these farms.
If you are worried that your well water is contaminated, the first step is to get a water test. Then if contamination exists, one of the safest solutions is to install a water filter system as soon as possible. Cryptosporidium is a parasitic disease mainly found in animal faeces. Serious infection can occur when people drink contaminated water. Private well owners can avail of grants from either Clare, Limerick or Tipperary councils for well water treatment, rehabilitation or even new wells.