Council warns city water cuts could last for 12 hours a day
WATER rationing periods for thousands of householders and businesses may have to be extended as efforts continue to plug a serious supply shortage across Dublin.
Five nights of restrictions, which have resulted in reduced pressure and, in some cases, a loss of supply for hundreds of thousands of people, will continue until Bank Holiday Monday, and will be reviewed on Tuesday.
But the current nightly rationing, which has operated since last Thursday and lasts until 7am, may have to be extended if reservoir levels have not improved.
Engineers will be monitoring reservoir levels today to see if rationing and works to plug leaks have led to improvements.
"If this review shows we are still losing water, we will probably have to look at extending the period of restrictions, maybe to 12 hours until things improve," a Dublin City Council spokesman revealed.
An algae outbreak at Roundwood water treatment plant is coupled with "unsustainably low" water levels. Much of this is because unseasonably cold weather has caused leaks, resulting in city-wide supply restrictions, which have affected homes and businesses.
Some residents complained yesterday that they had little or no water, despite the arrival of the end of the rationing period at 7am.
While the council said it had timed the restrictions in such a way to have as little impact as possible, it was also possible that some premises could be hit with a more prolonged loss of supply.
"Water will find its lowest level in the system and if you live in a slightly higher area you may experience a significant reduction in supply or a temporary water loss," said the spokesman.
Restaurant owners hit out at restrictions over a busy bank holiday weekend.
The Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) accused Dublin City Council of failing to tell the relevant business groups about what was happening.
RAI chief executive Adrian Cummins said: "This is typical of the council. They haven't even spoken to the relevant trade organisations to tell them what is happening."
However, Dublin City Council rejected the claims and insisted it had made every effort to publicise what was being done.
"We have notified all businesses, we have tweeted (details of the restrictions), it was on Facebook and on our webpage, and we have done several radio interviews," said the spokesman.
Another business group, Dublin City Business Improvement Sector, which represents hotels, pubs and restaurants in the city, said that, so far, it has not received any reports that the water restrictions had hit any of its members' business.