independent

Saturday 21 July 2018

Thousands hit by water supply problems

Householders queue for water in Clonard
Householders queue for water in Clonard

Maria Pepper

Thousands of households in areas of County Wexford were still without water on Monday as Irish Water and the County Council battled difficult conditions to repair burst pipes with supply expected to be restored by lunchtime today (Tuesday) at the latest.

Among the worst-hit areas were Wexford town including Coolcots, Clonard, Whitemill, Ard Carman and Bishopswater where 5,000 customers were without water since Saturday due to a burst in a watermain supplying the reservoir at Edenvale along with the Barntown, Taghmon, Ferns and Gorey areas.

In Wexford town, tankers of water were made available at a range of locations including Cois Carrige, Coolcotts Community Centre, Mother Hubbards, Barntown, St. Joseph's Community Centre, Mount Prospect, Clonard Village, Clonard Church as well as Ramsgrange Church, Taghmon Village, Duncannon and Gorey, with Irish Water advising people to boil the water before use to avoid contamination. Bottled water was supplied to nursing homes and care centres.

On Monday afternoon, Wexford County Council said water outages and leaks persisted in several locations across the county and efforts were being made to restore supply as soon as possible.

A spokesman said a significant burst at Edenvale Water Intake was badly affecting supply to Wexford town and surrounding areas.

'The location was extremely difficult to access but crews have now made their way to the site and have commenced excavation to repair the break. We expect supply to be restored by lunchtime tomorrow at the latest'. he said.

At 4pm on Monday, an Irish Water representative said repairs had been completed to the burst watermain supplying Wexford town's water treatment plant and main reservoir in Edenvale.

'Water is being turned back on slowly to refill the reservoirs and it is hoped that supply will begin to return to these (Wexford town) customers over the course of tonight and tomorrow', he said.

High demand on the network was also leading to supply disruptions in part of the county supplied by the Southern Regional Water Supply including Ballycullane, Ballyhack, Arthurstown, the Hook and Fethard-on-Sea while customers in Gorey were still experiencing disruption on Monday evening due to issues at the Creagh Water Treatment Plant.

The water supply problems began on Friday when there were disruptions caused by a burst pipe to about 1,000 customers in the Wexford area who are served by the Fardystown Water Supply Scheme.

The situation worsened on Saturday with many thousands of additional households and businesses affected after freezing weather led to more burst pipes. Efforts to restore supply were hampered by the complexity of the repairs and difficulty in reaching affected sites.

Water restrictions were put in place in Wexford town from 10 pm on Saturday night until 8 am on Sunday morning, a measure which Irish Water said was necessary to maintain critical supplies for Wexford General Hospital.

Other households whose service wasn't affected were being asked to conserve water and to ensure that outside taps were turned off in order to allow reservoirs to refill.

Repair work began early on Sunday morning after road conditions improved and the Status Red weather alert was lifted.

In a major operation, crews had to clear the road of about 20 fallen trees to reach Edenvale Reservoir in Castlebridge which supplies Wexford town while road access to Ballycullane Reservoir in New Ross also had to be cleared with the ESB arriving on Sunday afternoon to restore power there.

Water supplies in the Duncannon and the Ballyhack areas were affected.

Repair crews worked throughout Sunday to restore water to many parts of the county and by 9.30 pm that night, Irish Water and the Council said they had succeeded in restoring supply to some areas although it took some hours for the pipework to refill and water pressure to be fully re-instated.

Irish Water announced on Sunday night that 5,000 customers in Wexford town were still without water due to the burst watermain.

It was expected that water supply would be restored by late on Monday night or Tuesday, at the latest.

Updates on the progress of the repair operation were posted on Irish Water's website at www.water.ie/water-supply-/supply-and-service-update and on the customer care line at 1850278278.

Gorey Guardian

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