Sunday 21 April 2019

Warm spell to continue, as public urged to conserve water

Hose-pipe ban could be in place in north Sligo as water levels drop due to demand

Sorcha Crowley

North Sligo is looking at a hose-pipe ban by the end of the week because of falling water levels at the local water source.

That's according to Sligo County Council Senior Engineer Finian McGrath who has brought the problem to the attention of Irish Water.

Mr McGrath expects Irish Water to decide whether to introduce the hose-pipe ban by today (Tuesday) or tomorrow.

"The main scheme at risk is North Sligo due to a very weak source.

"There is a well there but there are problems with the well," he told members at Monday's Council meeting.

The official said that the hose-pipe ban would be a short term measure but if the dry weather continues, a nightly shut offs of water would begin.

After that, if water levels continue to drop, Irish Water would have to look at bringing water tankers into the area.

Elsewhere, Foxes' Den water treatment plant is operating at maximum capacity but use has risen by 29% in the last week alone.

The Lough Easkey supply has seen a 58% rise in demand which he said was not due to a leak but usage.

Lough Talt which is currently on a boil water notice is also operating at full capacity.

"If any of the sources do run down it will take quite a period of heavy rainfall to replenish them," warned McGrath.

"I hope it doesn't happen. We will be carrying out daily inspections.

"My view is that a hose-pipe ban probably will be put in place," he said.

As the warm weather continues, the demand on water supplies is outstripping the supply in several areas around the country with increased demand at 10 per cent above normal or more.

Demand for water right across Co Sligo continues to increase and as a result Irish Water is urging the public to conserve water while the prolonged dry spell that has been predicted by Met Éireann, continues.

Irish Water and Sligo County Council are monitoring all supplies across the county on a daily basis and there are currently no water restrictions in place.

However, the public is urged to conserve water in every way possible to ensure a continuous supply for all.

Irish Water says it is seeking maximum public cooperation in saving water.

This requires that non-essential uses are stopped while the crisis lasts and the company is drafting Drought Orders to ban such uses for schemes in crisis.

The hot weather is set to continue throughout the week and into next week,

Temperatures today (Tuesday) could reach as high as 27 degrees, with the rest of the week staying relatively warm and dry, .

Temperatures are expected to remain in the early 20s throughout the week, although Friday could go below 20 degrees.

The skies will be slightly cloudier throughout the week,

There may be light showers next Monday, but the temperatures will rise once again, remaining in the early 20s for at least another couple of weeks.

Sligo Champion