No compensation for restaurants affected by water restrictions

Dublin city engineer hopes full production will be recovered at Ballymore Eustace plant by Thursday

Water flowing in the Liffey water treatment plant at Ballymore Eustace. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Water flowing in the Liffey water treatment plant at Ballymore Eustace. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Tue, Nov 5, 2013, 08:09

The question of compensation for restaurant businesses affected by water restrictions in Dublin “will not arise”, city engineer Michael Phillips has said.

Mr Philips confirmed today that about two thirds of lost production at the Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant in Co Kildare had been recovered.

He said it was “looking very positive” that full production could be restored by Thursday Morning and said Dublin City Council would consider lifting the nightly restrictions at that stage.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme, Mr Phillips said some sectors would always be affected more than others by such water restrictions.

But he said restaurants should have 24-hour water storage in place and the question of compensation for such businesses “will not arise”.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan has said he expects the Dublin water crisis to be over by Thursday.

Speaking after a visit yesterday to the Ballymore Eustace plant, the source of the problem which has led to overnight water stoppages in the capital for almost a week, Mr Hogan said he was confident the matter would be resolved within days .

“If progress continues between now and Thursday in the manner we have seen today we can be confident that Thursday will mean the lifting of restrictions.”

Dublin City Council last night said the stoppages would be in place nightly from 8pm to 7am until Thursday “at least” in an attempt to restore water production levels at the plant.

Mr Hogan said he understood that the city engineers were cautious about predicting an end to the difficulties , but he believed the solutions that had been put in place were beginning to bed down.

Mr Hogan had been critical of the council’s handling of the issue, particularly in relation to its failure to give notice of the cuts to business and residential consumers.

He yesterday described this failure as a “hiccup” which the council had remedied.

Mr Hogan said yesterday the advent of Irish Water from January would mark an end to the historic “under-investment” and disjointed approach by local authorities in relation to water infrastructure.

“Over a period of time they will be in a position to double the capital investment programme.

“I don’t expect they will be able to do it in 2015, but I do expect they will be close to it in 2016.”

Mr Phillips accepted today there were lessons to be learned about communicating the issues involved. He noted some people had criticised the language used by the council to describe the problem as being “too technical”.

The council would take those issues on board, he said.