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Dubliners’ water torture

Thousands of homes in Dublin are experiencing severe water shortages, with city bosses admitting today the situation is "critical".

Parts of the capital have been without supplies for six days, as schools and businesses close because of the crisis.

Dublin City Council said it could be another four months before reservoirs servicing the capital are replenished properly. However, it cannot give a date when supplies will return to normal.

The local authority warned it is proving "very difficult" to identify leaks in the mains system.

Householders have expressed frustration at the lack of information about where the shortages will hit. But the council says it is doing the best it can in difficult circumstances.

A 60pc reduction in pressure on the Southside impacted on the Fire Brigade, which had to be prepared to send an additional unit to call-outs.

The council faces the possibility of legal action from businesses which have been unable to operate due to the shortages. It revealed it has received calls from a number of bars and restaurants who said they intended to sue.

Notice

Baked bean producer Batchelors, which is located in Cabra West, said it would put 40 staff on protective notice next week unless supply was restored.

Up to 20,000 people in Dublin are being affected by supply problems.

Brian McKeown of Dublin City Council said: "The situation continues to be critical."

Local councillor Paul McAuliffe (FF) said information from the council's civic offices has been "sparse".

"Facing the unsanitary situation whereby unflushed toilets are backing up, many residents are being forced to pour expensive bottled water down the drain," he said.

Dublin City Council: Many areas have extremely low pressure or no water at all. The Council says it is working to restore supply but cannot give a time as to when this will be completed. Restrictions were in place overnight but lifted this morning.

Crumlin, South Circular Road, Drimnagh, Pembroke and the Mespil Road areas have been badly affected.

Today there are problems in pockets of the north east of the city and the council is working to restore water to households. Finglas and Poppintree haven't had water for a number of days.

The areas affected today are: Clonshaugh, Coolock, Raheny, Kilmore, Poppintree, Finglas, Killester, Santry, Artane and Rathgar. Tankers are in place in all these areas and people are urged to boil this water as a precuationary measure.

A spokesperson said the supply varies within these areas depending on which water main houses are connected to.

In some cases, one side of a street might have a low water supply and the other side might have none.

Urging people to boil the water, the spokesperson added: "The water is coming through from the tankers. It's fine but then people are carrying them back in various containers, so it's a precautionary measure."

South Dublin: Water supplies were being restored to all areas in South Dublin Council from 6am but it took several hours to reach every home.

Home owners were being told that they should have a supply between 9am and 4pm in all areas, but it could not be guaranteed after that time.

Since reservoir levels are critical, engineers say the more water that is conserved during the day the longer the hours can be extended.

Water is being turned off every night between 11pm and 6am but from 4pm onwards the supply is being alternated in major areas to make sure the water is evenly distributed.

People are asked to check the Council website, www.dublincity.ie, this evening to see what areas are worst affected.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown: The water supply remains critical across the whole area and restrictions have been put in place. Demand has been levelling off and the council has been working flat out to locate and repair leaks.

The council says it may have to request specific areas to cut back further.

Fingal County Council: There are water restrictions all over Fingal with reduced pressure. At night the pressure is restricted further between 10pm and 6am.

Areas badly affected include Garristown, Oldtown, Balrothery, Man O'War, Hedgestown. Lanesborough on the north west of the city has been hard hit and the council had to arrange for two tankers for the area.

The overall water situation in the Dublin region is critical, cutbacks will last for another week in order to stablisise water levels in the reservoirs.

Lar Spain of Fingal County Council today said: "We have water restrictions all over Fingal with reduced pressures and then at night we are reducing pressures further from about 10pm to 6am."

hnews@herald.ie


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