Monday 19 March 2018

Endless rain but the council tankers are still hard to find

Breda Heffernan

IT WAS a bitter irony that people were on the hunt for water yesterday in the midst of torrential rain.

After a week of snow and ice, followed yesterday by monsoon-like downpours, water supplies across Dublin were nevertheless at critically low levels.

With supplies either cut completely or pressure reduced drastically, Dublin City Council stepped in and announced it was rolling out a fleet of water tankers in the hardest-hit areas.

These "stationary tankers" would be in place from 11am until 8pm at seven points across the northside, including Cabra, Coolock, Killester, Finglas and Poppintree.

However, it seemed that the tankers were playing a game of cat and mouse with an increasingly irate and water-starved public.

A small tanker was in place throughout the day at Killester, where the two council workers reported a trickle of visitors.

But less than a mile-and-a-half further north, tankers at Coolock Village and Clarehall Shopping Centre on the Malahide Road were proving more elusive. Despite the council insisting that tankers were available in both locations, there was no sign of them when the Irish Independent went looking.

One member of the public reported arriving at Clarehall just as the tanker was pulling away.

An hour spent driving between the two locations chasing the phantom stationary tankers in heavy rain ended without success. It would have been simpler to pull over and stick an empty bucket out the window.

A spokeswoman for the council said the situation was "changing by the hour" and that the list of seven locations was subject to change, depending on demand.

Labour TD Mary Upton said that while councils were doing their utmost to restore water supplies, they could do more to keep Dubliners in the loop. She added: "There is still a shortage of reliable information out there and people are becoming increasingly frustrated."

Meanwhile, people living in the inner city were told they could use the facilities at their local council-run swimming pools for their daily ablutions.

  • Emergency water supplied by local authorities should still be boiled, the HSE warned last night.

Householders, schools, childcare facilities, and catering businesses have been warned to boil any emergency supplies in the interest of public health.

Irish Independent

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