Water cuts likely to continue into next week

Restrictions imposed so far have not resulted in a significant improvement in supply

The Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant in Wicklow which is experiencing production difficulties.

The Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant in Wicklow which is experiencing production difficulties.

Fri, Nov 1, 2013, 01:01

Nightly water restrictions that affect more than one million people in counties Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare, will continue into next week, Dublin City Council has indicated.

The cuts imposed so far have not resulted in any significant improvement in water supplies a council spokesman said.

Supplies are being stopped from 8pm to 7am until “at least” next Monday and it was was “highly unlikely” the current level of restrictions would be changed before next week.

“We have not got sufficient capacity back into the system to consider making any changes to the restrictions.” The council stressed there is “no problem with the quality of treated drinking water or with storage levels of untreated/raw water”.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said yesterday he was only made aware of the difficulties at the Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant on Wednesday, a day after Dublin City Council issued water cuts notices.

Mr Hogan criticised the council’s communications around the introduction of water restrictions. He said the long-term solution for supplying the Dublin region from the river Shannon, which has been handled up to now by the council would be progressed as “a priority” by Irish Water.

A €500 million project planned to pump 350 million litres of water a day from the river Shannon to serve the capital’s drinking water needs was scheduled for completion by 2020. However a senior council official had said a longer lead-in time was likely and it would be “close to 10 years” from now before this supply was operational.

The council recently appointed consultant engineers to the project. The contract was awarded to Jacobs Engineering, who were also the consultants for the regional sewage plant planned for North Dublin and the Poolbeg Incinerator.

Mr Hogan yesterday said the delays were not acceptable and the project would be handed over to Irish Water in the new year.

“The progression of the water supply project for the Dublin region will be a priority for Irish Water,” he said. “Irish Water is likely to have greater capacity to address challenges such as those facing Dublin City Council.”