| 15°C Dublin

Final tests to decide if water supply returns

DUBLIN City Council were today carrying out final tests before, hopefully, restoring a full water supply to the region.

Officials said last night that production levels at Ballymore Eustace have improved – although the plant is still not running at normal capacity.

Meetings were ongoing today to decide whether normal service can be resumed or if nightly restrictions will continue.

Householders have been experiencing water restrictions from 8pm each evening, to 7am the following morning, with some 1.5m people affected.

Some business in Dublin have been badly hit by the problems, with one city centre restaurant claiming they have lost €5,000 since the restrictions began.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan said earlier this week that he was optimistic that engineers had identified the source of the problem and put in place an effective treatment which would restore supplies.

Fianna Fail councillor Mary Fitzpatrick told the Herald: "I hope the restrictions will be lifted today and businesses and homes will have full water supply returned.

"However, the Fianna Fail group are extremely concerned that the fundamental issue has not been addressed yet by the minister, and that is even when the restriction is lifted, we will still have one per cent spare capacity water supply at any time and that's not sufficient for a modern city like Dublin.

"So, the minister does need to address the fundamental issue, which is one of providing the city with an adequate and reliable water supply, and he hasn't done that yet.

"We are increasingly concerned that Irish Water and the minister are pursuing the installation of water meters in the city, and yet people haven't got a reliable water service.

"It's not tenable, it's not reasonable to be asking people to even consider paying for water services that are unreliable."

She said the lesson that should have been learned a long time ago is that "we can't operate with only one per cent spare capacity."