PADDLING pools have Irish Water’s blessing over the hot spell but the public is being asked not to waste water as some supplies come under strain.
Water bosses are saying it is alright to fill a pool for some back garden fun – just don’t empty it down the drain afterwards.
“Paddling pools and swimming pools can use huge volumes of water so try to minimise the amount used and consider reusing the water for the garden or cleaning the car,” they said.
It is part of a gentle warning that while supplies generally are healthy, demand is expected to increase as the tourist season gets busier.
The spike in temperatures forecast over the next few days will also send demand soaring and the dry weather will reduce reserves.
“A number of rural areas have begun to come under pressure, particularly in the south and midlands,” Irish Water said.
It said it was already taking actions to manage and protect supplies in parts of counties Cork and Tipperary, Carron in Co Clare and Inis Oirr in Co Galway.”
Most drinking is sourced from rivers and lakes and the most recent water levels report from the Environmental Protection Agency shows mixed measurements for June.
More than half of river flows (57pc) were normal or above normal for the time of year as were 56pc of lakes and turloughs, but 67pc of groundwater sources had lower than normal levels.
So while some areas were being monitored closely for any further drop in levels, farmers along stretches of the Shannon pleaded this week for action to help save their waterlogged crops.
Tom Cuddy of Irish Water said the utility was issuing the conservation request now to try to avoid any need for restrictions whatever the rest of the summer weather brings.
“It is important that we all consider our water usage and look at simple yet impactful ways to conserve water,” he said.
“Even small changes can make a significant difference. By reducing the water used in paddling pools, turning off the hose and avoiding power washing we can all help ensure there is enough water for everyone as we go through the summer.”
The company also asked for people to check for leaks on outdoor taps, report leaks in public areas and consider installing a water butt to collect rain.
When tending to gardens, the advice is to plant in the ground rather than pots where possible, water in the evening, use a rose-head watering can instead of a hose and aim directly at the roots, and add layer of bark mulch or other plant material to prevent soil drying out.
Irish Water has meanwhile lifted the do not consume notice for Cootehill, Co Cavan where the supply was declared an immediate risk to health because of high levels of manganese.
People in the town had to collect water from tankers or buy bottled supplies for ten days.
Peter Gallagher, regional operations lead with Irish Water, said the company regretted the inconvenience caused.
“Irish Water and the Local Authority/Health Service Executive Water Liaison Group will continue to meet and will review ongoing process control, monitoring and testing of the drinking water supply,” he said.