NIGHTLY shut-offs of water across Dublin will continue until well into next week.
Dublin City Council had initially said the restrictions on water supply affecting 1.5 million people would remain be in place until Monday.
However they have now announced that the disruptions will continue from 8pm to 7am until at least Thursday and possibly beyond.
The news will come as a blow to pubs and restaurants which had been struggling to stay open since the restrictions came into force on Wednesday.
The debacle is due to problems at the Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant where engineers are still struggling to find out what has caused the “characteristics” of the water to change. Production of safe drinking water has been slashed as the water is proving more difficult to treat.
Dublin City Council said that while there has now been a stabilisation in production at the plant, it still does not know what the root of the problem is and restrictions will remain in place until at least Thursday of next week.
“Despite this stabilisation, production at the plant is still at a level well below that required to meet demand. Coupled with this, storage levels at our treated water reservoirs remain at an unsustainably low level.
“At series of tests currently being conducted at Ballymore Eustace involves adjusting the various inputs to the treatment process, with the objective of identifying what caused the slowdown in production and how to resolve the issue.
“Dublin City Council engineers and our Central Laboratory technicians continue to work 24 hours a day to identify the cause of the problem and to mitigate the effects...It may take some time to completely resolve the issue.”
Meanwhile, the Restaurants Association of Ireland is requesting that Dublin Local Authorities offer some form of compensation to restaurants that have seen business suffer because of the water restrictions in Dublin.
Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association said: “In order to run a restaurant you need water – to cook food, to clean and provide to your customers.
"It is simple logic. Yet our words of warning have fallen on deaf ears every time this issue has arisen and unfortunately the logical approach from the restaurant industry is constantly being ignored by Local Government.”