Dublin City Council discriminating against Wicklow residents, TD claims

Less concern shown for Wicklow people with water supply problems in catchment area, says Simon Harris

Simon Harris, Fine Gael TD. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Simon Harris, Fine Gael TD. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Thu, May 23, 2013, 01:00

Cancer patients are living in houses without a water supply and people with babies have had not water for 14 days, the Dáil has heard in a row over the public mains.

Dublin City Council has been accused of discriminating against Co Wicklow residents in its catchment area as problems with water supplies continued, more than two months after the initial difficulty arose.

Fine Gael Wicklow TD Simon Harris said the council was showing less concern for the people of Wicklow than it would for people in Dublin if they were affected. He called on Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan to “bang heads together” to deal with the problem.

Mr Hogan said he would ask local authorities and his officials to “give this matter the sense of urgency it deserves”.

The problem began on St Patrick’s day at the Roundwood reservoir where there is an algae growth over the filter beds, preventing sufficient amounts of water from getting through.

Independent Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly said the problem was supposed to be resolved by the end of May but could now not be fixed until the end of June at the earliest and in a number of areas the water supply was being cut off from 10pm until 7am. He said this would continue every night for the foreseeable future.

Mr Donnelly said he would be concerned if areas in Wicklow were being cut off by Dublin City Council, but locations in Dublin were not.

Mr Hogan said the matter was an issue for the local authorities but he had made inquiries and there was an ongoing problem with Dublin City Council’s Vartry reservoir which had reduced capacity by 50 per cent.

Kilpedder, Glen of the Downs, Kilmacanogue and surrounding areas were fed directly from Vartry with a reduced or no water supply he said.