Thursday 17 October 2019

'Not flushing the toilet as often' - how the people of Dublin are saving water during the hosepipe ban

Rachel Farrell and Kyran O'Brien

As demand for water during the heatwave increases, Irish Water has placed a ban on hosepipe usage in the Greater Dublin Area until the end of the month.

People who waste water by using a hosepipe to water the garden, wash cars or fill paddling pools could face a fine of €125.

We took to the scenic seaside town of Howth in Dublin to ask members of the public how they plan on saving water while the ban is imposed.

One woman said she had stopped using the dishwasher and admitted that she hasn't been flushing her toilet as often.

"I've stopped using the dishwasher, I'm just hand washing and reusing the water," she told

"Not flushing my toilet as often - if it's yellow, let it mellow."

Another woman said the water restrictions haven't "overly affected" her but understands why Irish Water felt the need to put a ban in place.

"I understand where Irish Water is coming from. With all the current weather we're having, people do use a lot more water. I think there are some people that don't necessarily take into consideration that refilling the paddling pool every single day could be done in a more efficient way, rather than wasting water. 

"It hasn't overly affected me but I would be watching how I use water anyway so I'm just kind of maintaining the same ways of what I would normally do.

"I'd turn off the tap between uses, I don't have a paddling pool or a car so there's some things that other people have changed that I probably wouldn't."

According to Irish Water, extra staff are being drafted in to man the utility's helpline where the public can report people for breaching the hosepipe ban. It is understood that Irish Water will be using metres to track water usage by those suspected to be using excessive amounts of water.

However, some members of the public are questioning whether they could report their neighbour or not.

"I could see some people doing it [reporting neighbours] alright, but not me. I don't want to be a bad neighbour," one passerby told

Another said: "People might report their neighbours, they probably would say it to the person first and maybe remind them. Not everyone may have heard that you're not supposed to be using the house pipe straight away, it takes a couple of days to filter through.

"There's some people that would report, there's some that wouldn't, each to their own really."

Irish Water said the ban was "essential" to preserve water over the coming weeks and encouraged the public to abide by the rules.

Speaking about the legal move Corporate Affairs Manager and water conservation expert, Kate Gannon, said “Imposing a Water Conservation Order is a measure that Irish Water now consider appropriate.

"It is essential that our water supply resources are conserved if we are to avoid restrictions and outages over the coming weeks and months."

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News