Guinness delivers pints of the clear stuff across capital
THOUSANDS of households across the country will not have running water over the weekend as council crews struggle to fix ruptured pipes.
And it could be weeks before the situation returns to normal because low water pressure means that local authorities are struggling to identify leaks.
Yesterday brewing giant Guinness began delivering water to locations across Dublin city, with the first delivery made to Cadbury's production plant in Coolock.
Tankers designed to hold up to 30,000 litres of beer were retrofitted to allow water to be pumped out of them.
They were then made available to the city council which is struggling to fix dozens of ruptured water mains across the city.
South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council last night warned that all houses would be cut off or experience reduced pressure at night to help reservoirs replenish.
Dublin City Council said Walkinstown, Crumlin, Irishtown, parts of Dublin 4, Coolock, Artane and Finglas would have very low pressure while parts of Limerick, Westmeath and Wexford would also experience shortages.
Large parts of south Dublin -- including Killiney, Dalkey, Sandycove and Glasthule -- are without supply.
Limerick County Council said that water had been restored to most parts of the county, although isolated individual housing estates and areas were continuing to experience low pressure.
"Over the coming weeks, the council will continue to tackle remaining bursts and leaks in order to minimise wastage of water," senior engineer Donal Brennan said.
"The repair of bursts will require short-term water outages in the vicinity of the repair. Water levels in service/distribution reservoirs remain low and consumers are requested to continue to conserve water".
Yesterday the National Emergency Response Co-ordination Committee said that demand for water was still exceeding production capacity in Dublin and other areas.
This is because of ongoing problems with leaks, and it urged people to conserve water.
"Demand for water is still continuing to exceed production," committee chairman Sean Hogan said.
"This is due to leaks in the mains. Our key concern is to preserve supply. Property owners should check and fix leaks and the public should report leaks to local authorities.
"Pressure is low and it's difficult to detect leaks. Demand has started to come down to production levels. As levels come down and pressure returns, leaks can be identified."
Labour's transport spokesman Tommy Broughan said the crisis showed the water infrastructure in Dublin was in a "shocking state" of disrepair.
"There has been a total lack of investment in our water system," he said. "The recent big freeze put serious pressure on the water system. The region needs much greater water treatment capacity and a number of new holding reservoirs."
The Government plans to spend €508m this year on upgrading the water system, having spent €1bn in 2008 and 2009.
Meanwhile preliminary tests from six local authorities which spread fertiliser on the roads last weekend have revealed that drinking water supplies were not contaminated.
Fears had been raised that use of urea, a nitrogen-rich fertiliser, in south Dublin, Meath, Carlow, Kildare, north Tipperary and south Tipperary could affect the quality of drinking water.
However, the tests show that supply sources have not been affected. Further confirmatory tests will follow.