Water in thousands of Northern Ireland homes was last night declared safe after a contamination alert proved to be a false alarm.
The news came at the end of a dramatic day when almost a quarter of a million households were advised to boil drinking water over fears of bacteria in the supply.
Northern Ireland Water issued a warning to residents in Counties Down and Antrim, including Belfast, after an alert centred around Dunore Point treatment plant at Lough Neagh.
But the ‘boil water’ notice was lifted shortly before 9pm last night after the latest in a series of tests proved negative.
A spokeswoman for Northern Ireland Water said there was no safety issue with drinking water supplies and thanked customers for their patience.
“The third set of results once again confirms that the initial test, which suggested there may be a problem, was |inaccurate,” she said.
“The water was, and is, completely safe to drink. Customers should be |reassured that the public health |authorities and Northern Ireland Water treat the issue of public safety as our number one priority.”
Meanwhile, there have been calls for a full investigation into why it took so long for fears over possible water contamination to be relayed to customers.
The criticism follows Northern Ireland Water’s own admission that it was aware of a possible problem on Monday, but didn’t issue a warning until over 12 hours later.