Thursday 18 January 2018

Overnight water restrictions as leaks are repaired

Overnight water restrictions are to be imposed in most areas across the country as authorities struggle to repair leaks and meet demand.

Officials appealed for the public to be patient as emergency teams continue to work round the clock fixing burst mains and pipes in almost every county.

The Department of the Environment warned that reduced supply was inevitable as city and county councils battled to meet abnormal demand.

Gerry Galvin, principal adviser for water services, urged householders to use as little water as possible.

"I would appeal to people to be patient during this very difficult time as local authorities attempt to identify and repair the many leaks that have occurred in the public system," he said.

"We have just come through some of the coldest weather in decades and the resultant thaw has caused very serious disruption to the water system nationwide."

Standpipes and water tankers have been dispatched to areas where the supplies have been worst affected.

Mr Galvin warned that engineers were not looking for a few major leaks in each local authority area.

He said supplies were more likely to have been badly hit by a series of numerous leaks in the 25,000km of public and group scheme mains across the country.

Mr Galvin urged householders and businesses to heed the request from local authorities to conserve water, notify leaks visible on the streets and check unoccupied premises/dwellings.

All City and County Council water supply plants are on full production, the Department said and it warned night-time restrictions were in place to replenish reservoirs.

It is feared full supply in most areas may not be restored until the New Year.

Dublin City Council said its engineers still had a lot of work to do to stabilise the situation.

Widespread cut-offs will be enforced until midday tomorrow, the authority said.

The council also attempted to ease fears among the business community about supplies during the busy new year weekend, insisting they were mindful of the near crisis and that a plan to sustain supplies would be announced tomorrow.

Cork City Council said consumers may be facing temporary disruption, pressure fluctuations and temporary discoloration but should receive a daily refill supply to properties.

Limerick County Council warned that as well as night restrictions there may also be unannounced interruptions to supply.

Fingal County Council said reservoir levels in its area were critically low.

Key holders of schools and businesses closed for Christmas were also asked to check their premises for burst pipes.

Problems to supplies continue to be reported in counties Cork, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Kildare, Laois, Sligo and Westmeath.

Residents across Dublin were warned to expect widespread night-time water restrictions as a record 130 million litres of water were lost at the start of the week.

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