Water restrictions in place for five nights
Change in colour and more small particles has curtailed processing capacity
Dublin City Council which is , the water authority of for the four Dublin and two county councils in the region, said a major problem had occurred in its Ballymore Eustace water production plant (above) in recent days. Photograph Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
More than one million people in the Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow areas face having their water supplies severely restricted or cut off entirely over the next five nights.
Dublin City Council, the water authority for the four Dublin and two county councils in the region, said a major problem had occurred in its Ballymore Eustace water production plant in recent days.
The problem, which involves a change in water colour and an increase in the number of small particles present, has severely curtailed processing capacity.
As a result, the council had announced region-wide restrictions between 8pm and 7am for the next five days.
Dublin City Council engineer Michael Phillips said many people will have no water supply at all during these hours. About 1.3 million people who are connected to the network are expected to be affected to some extent.
Households and businesses in Fingal, south Dublin, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown and Dublin City Council areas, as well as parts of Kildare and Wicklow, should do all they can to conserve water, Mr Phillips said.
He said the councils hoped the restrictions would be lifted after Monday but he warned that disruption to supply “could go on longer”. The situation is to be reviewed on a daily basis.
Mr Phillips stressed there was “absolutely no danger” to the quality of tap water which he said met the standards required by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Meet peak demand
A spokesman for the city council’s press office later said the restrictions should still allow the region to meet its peak demand which occurred in the morning or in the middle of the day.
He said it would not be practical to accede to a request from the Restaurants Association of Ireland to have water tankers on standby as there could be up to 5,000 such businesses in the region and it would not be possible to have so many “isolated interventions”.
The city council said homes with no water at the cold tap in the kitchen would still have storage in their tank and if people did not use their washing machines at times of low availability the storage capacity would be available for essential uses such as washing.
Mr Phillips said he hoped the timing of the restrictions would allow people to “get home and maybe put on a wash or get the dinner”.
The city council referred householders to the website taptips.ie for additional water conservation guidelines.