Thursday 14 November 2019

People affected by burst water mains forced to come up with 'inventive ways' to get by

Kiera Lynch with limited water at home in Ballsgrove, Drogheda
Kiera Lynch with limited water at home in Ballsgrove, Drogheda
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

As the ongoing hassle from the massive burst water mains in Louth continued today, people affected by a lack of water in their homes were coming up with all sorts of inventive ways to get by.

Some literally resorted to washing their dirty linen in public by taking advantage of the 24/7 Launderette stations dotted around the town.

Queues formed at the launderette locations that still had a water supply, and locals took to Facebook to alert each other as to which stations were in operation and which weren't.

At the outdoor launderette at Waterside on the banks of the Boyne there was steady business as people fed coins into the slot to keep clean clothes on their backs.

Estelle Gorman, manager of the Relish Cafe in the South Gate Shopping Centre in Drogheda. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Estelle Gorman, manager of the Relish Cafe in the South Gate Shopping Centre in Drogheda. Photo: Colin O’Riordan

“I had the washing machine going at home but then the water was cut off so I've had to bring the clothes here instead to finish washing them,” said Stephanie Leonard (36) from Newtown Meadows in Drogheda.

“The kids are off school and playing sports and they are going through clothes at a great rate, so I’m trying to keep up.

“I hadn't thought of bringing them here but then I saw it on a Facebook post and thought I'd give it a go,” she said as she filled the washing machine.

“I’ve never used the service before but it's handy. It costs money but I don't mind so long as I get clean clothes,” Stephanie added.

Bernie Lynch’s bucket is filled in Ballsgrove, Drogheda. Photo: Fergal Phillips
Bernie Lynch’s bucket is filled in Ballsgrove, Drogheda. Photo: Fergal Phillips

She said she could not understand why it should take a week to fix a water main.

“It’s taking a long time, I don't see why it should take so long. It’s a lot of hassle for everyone,” she said.

Michaela Pompova (19) and her mother Maria (54), who are originally from Slovakia but now living in Termonfeckin, were also using the outdoor launderette for the first time.

“We have no water at home, and we have to buy water to drink, so this is the only way we can wash clothes,” said Maria.

“It is costing money, but there is nothing we can do about that,” she added, saying she never had a water shortage problem in Slovakia.

The 24/7 Launderette charges €8 for an 18kg wash that takes half an hour to complete.

An 8kg wash costs €4, and a 15 minute spin in the drier costs €2 for an 18kg load.

Staff at the Discount Fuels filling station at Waterside where the launderette station is situated said they had seen a massive increase in the numbers of people using the service since the mains burst.

“They are also filling drums of water from out forecourt tap that is usually used for topping up car washer bottles. You could not drink the water but I suppose they are using it for flushing toilets,” said one filling station worker.

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