Dublin water levels stable, but ‘only because of cuts’

Drinking water production still ‘well below that required to restore full supply’

Water levels are stabilising at the  Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant in Co Kildare, Dublin City Council said today. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Water levels are stabilising at the Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant in Co Kildare, Dublin City Council said today. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sun, Nov 3, 2013, 20:06

Water levels at Dublin City Council’s Ballymore Eustace treatment plant in Co Kildare have stabilised, but only because of on-going nighttime restrictions, the city council has said.

Drinking water production at the State’s largest treatment plant is still well below that required to restore a full-time supply, and it will be Thursday morning – at least– before water engineers are in a position to say how long the restrictions will remain.

However most households, hospitality venues and hospitals seemed to be surviving the cuts at the weekend.

The city council ascribed the absence of widespread hardship to careful usage of supplies by its almost 1.5 million customers in the region which includes Dublin city and county and parts of Kildare and Wicklow.

A spokesman thanked customers for conserving water but said supply was “not like the ESB” in that when reductions kick in at 8pm, they would generally not be felt immediately. Similarly, he said when supply was restored it could be “a couple of hours” before water reached some parts of the network.

The parts of the network where supply is the most vulnerable include those on higher ground and those furthest from reservoirs.

Householders in north Dublin from Glasnevin to Baldoyle reported reduced pressure or no supply at all, from shortly after 8pm. But in most cases households said their attic tanks were enough to get them through the night.

Pubs and restaurants also seemed generally to be able to manage. President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Pádraig óg Gallagher said his own business the Boxty House restaurant in Temple Bar, was “managing”. He said over the coming days the association would be compiling reports on restaurants where hardship had been felt.

A short telephone survey of pubs and restaurants in Dublin at lunchtime today revealed Johnnie Fox’s pub in Glencullen reported water had been cut off. A spokesman said because of the elevation in the Dublin mountains the business was prepared for shortages and had large storage tanks installed.

Across the city however , a spokesman for the Summit pub in Howth said they had “absolutely no problem”. The Abbey Tavern in Howth village reported it had enough water for its usual Irish music night and banquet and “while we were aware and had stocked up on bottled water it wasn’t needed”.

In the city centre a spokesman for O’Donoghue’s pub on Merrion Row said no problems had been encountered over the weekend. “Everything is flying” a barman said. Similarly The Hill 16 pub in Summerhill in Dublin reported the restriction “hasn’t really affected us”.

“For some reason it hasn’t affected us, we may be on the old Vartry [reservoir in Co Wicklow] line” said a barman in the Barge pub in Dublin’s south city.

Newspapers at the weekend reported award-winning One Pico restaurant in Molesworth Place as having closed on Friday night due to the water restrictions, but attempts to confirm this were not successful.

The city council said customers who had suffered complete curtailment of supply may find it takes a couple of hours for the water to fill up their tanks in the mornings.