Water restriction hours shortened as thousands remain without supply

Irish Water says the Dublin restrictions are necessary to "ensure the city continued to function"

Water restriction hours shortened as thousands remain without supply

File photo of the Poulaphouca Dam, 26-01-2010. Image: RollingNews

Irish Water has said there are still around 23,000 people without water supply around the country.

A further 39,000 are facing water restrictions as the utility comes to terms with the aftermath of Storm Emma.

In a statement this evening, Irish Water said the condition of its pipes "particularly in the Dublin region where the average age is 80 years" has contributed to the widespread outages.


It said three major bursts in Dublin which were wasting the equivalent of the daily water usage of Balbriggan have been repaired.

Repairs in Donegal meanwhile have seen normal supply returned to 46,000 people.

Restrictions and outages in Kerry, Westmeath, Laois and Longford have also been fixed.

Night restrictions

The utility said it was attempting to minimise the impact of outages and restrictions by limiting them to night-time hours where possible.

It said the decision to reduce pressure across the greater Dublin region last night was insisted it was not taken lightly  - but warned it had to act to "ensure the city continued to function."

Many customers throughout the area had their supply restricted or cut-off from 7pm last night until 7am this morning.

Even after the restrictions were lifted, it took a number of hours for supply to return to some homes.

The utility says the restrictions will return tonight - although the hours will be reduced to between 8pm and 6am in order to ensure people have supply in the morning.

These people at the Capuchin Homeless Day Centre in Dublin were delighted to get their breakfast earlier after water had been restricted:

Irish Water has been scrambling to respond after the cold weather saw demand increase nationally by up to 20% - or 60 million litres a day.

The freezing temperatures led to thousands of small leaks which will need to be found and repaired over the months ahead.

There are also reports of people leaving their taps running during the worst of the storm.

The utility has warned that finding leaks is unfortunately not a 'rapid process' - with extensive strain remaining in the network.

Managing director Jerry Grant said 'find and fix' crews from the local authorities are fully deployed to restore supplies to communities across the country:

"One of the big constraints of course is finding the leaks, which is quite a specialist task" he said.

"Obviously where leaks are reported above ground and are visible , they can be addressed very quickly.

"But the task of finding leaks below ground on the network is challenging. It involves specialist equipment and people who are trained in that role.

"We will of course over time identify a great many leaks and get them repaired - but there is a time-scale involved in that which is not rapid."


Meanwhile, businesses in Dublin say they didn't receive adequate notice or information about water stoppages following Storm Emma.

Deborah Fortune of Hobarts Cafe in Ranelagh says they could have opened later and warned their customers if they knew what was happening in their area:

"I mean there should be a bit of courtesy there," she said.

"All we had to do was not open as early or I could have put in on Facebook or Twitter saying, 'guys we are going to be running a little late, no water, no coffee' - let the customers know.

"Because once people know, they are a little bit understanding.

"When they don't know, it is a nightmare."

Irish Water has said "significant progress" has been made to make necessary repairs at plants and fix bursts.

Members of the public are now being asked to conserve supply where possible.