Irish Water and 6 Local Authorities update on Greater Dublin Region water supply restrictions.
· Irish Water and the six Greater Dublin Region Local Authorities had to act to protect homes and businesses in Dublin and avoid widespread outages in the capital
· Demand for drinking water outstripped the supply by of the daily usage of Cork City
· Pressure management will apply 8pm tonight to 6am
The aftermath of Storm Emma has had a significant impact on the water network around the country as the extreme cold damaged water treatment plants and has led to significant burst in pipes. The condition of our pipes, particularly in Dublin where the average age is 80 years, has contributed to the widespread outages and water restrictions experienced by customers all over the country.
In the Greater Dublin Area Irish Water saw an increase of over 10% in demand from Friday 2 March to Sunday 4 March. Despite having our plants working at peak output, storage of water in the reservoirs was significantly depleted. Demand is continuing to rise and our reservoir levels are low. There is not enough water in our reservoirs to meet the current levels of demand.
On Monday 5 March across the Dublin region, the demand for drinking water outstripped the supply by 28 mega litres which is the equivalent of the daily usage of the population of Cork City.
Irish Water and the six Greater Dublin Region Local Authorities had to act to protect homes and businesses in Dublin and avoid widespread outages in the capital.
The decision to reduce pressure across the Dublin network for a 12 hour period on Monday evening was one that was not taken lightly but we needed to ensure the city continued to function.
Working with the four Local Authorities, we assessed the impact of the 12 hour reduction in pressure on our reservoirs. While some improvement has been realised, we have a way to go. This is essential to allow our reservoirs to refill as repairs to bursts and leaks are underway.
We are aware that some people were without water entirely and reviewed this situation with water engineers across the Dublin Councils today to see how we can minimise this impact. We are leveraging the best expertise across Irish Water and the four Dublin Councils to move water around the network and protect supply while protecting hospitals on the network.
As a result, Irish Water and the Local Authorities across the Greater Dublin Region are undertaking a programme of water pressure management in Dublin, parts of Wicklow and Meath from 8pm to 6am when supply will begin to return to normal levels. Taking feedback from customers it is hoped that this will allow the network to fill fully again earlier in the morning to allow for morning showers.
This is essential to allow our reservoirs to refill as repairs to bursts and leaks are underway.
Homes will have storage in their attic tanks and businesses should also have storage on site. We expect that on high ground and on the extremities of the network, people will be more likely to experience some outages.
At present there are almost 30 local authority crews out across the Greater Dublin Area prioritising the most significant bursts and leaks first. We have additional specialised crews out finding leaks and additional crews both to find leaks and fix them ready to mobilse.
Vulnerable customers are being contacted to provide advice and support. Irish Water are working with the four Dublin local authorities and are reviewing this situation on an ongoing basis.
Irish Water is appealing to homeowners and businesses to conserve water at this time. Advice on how to do so is available on water.ie. Any visible leaks should be reported to Irish Water on 1850 278 278.
Guidance to Customers for periods of water outages
Below are useful tips for homeowners before and during a water outage or reduced supply pressure.
· Store enough fresh water
· Store enough fresh water in easy to use containers.
· Check your water tank storage
· Conserve stored water before to ensure tanks are full
· Check your home for internal leaks and fix them
· Fix dripping taps
· Fix leaking toilets
· Turn off all taps
· Keep taps turned off.
· DO NOT drink water that is not fresh
· DO NOT drink water from hot water or bathroom taps.
· DO NOT drink collected rainwater
· You can still use your kettle to boil fresh water that you have stored.
· Try to conserve the water in your storage tank
· Your storage tank running dry may result in an airlock after so conserve
· Avoid unnecessary use of stored water
· Shower don’t bath
· Avoid running dishwashers or washing machines
· Ensure any pre-programmed appliances are switched off.
· Don’t use any gas, oil or electrical appliances that you will use to heat your water, such as an immersion heater.
· Unsure if you can use your heating system? Check your manufacturer’s guide or contact your heating service provider.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee