Dublin will be left with no water if night-time restrictions are lifted, city engineer Michael Phillips has warned. The council last night announced the extension of nightly cuts throughout the Dublin region until at least Thursday of next week.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland has said it is “absolutely shocked” by the council’s decision and is seeking compensation to cover what it says are losses of €400,000 a day.
The council had previously planned to cut off water from 8pm to 7am each night until Monday next, but said supplies are “well below that required to meet demand” and it must continue to impose the cuts.
The cuts imposed since last Wednesday at Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant, had resulted in a stabilisation in production and conservation measures taken by the public were also having a positive effect, Mr Phillips said.
Dry within days
However, he warned that any relaxation in restrictions would leave the capital and surrounding region dry within days.
“We have stabilised the losses of water at night, and as long as the restrictions remain in place people will have water during the day, but if I lifted the restrictions now in three days time when people get up in the morning there will be no water in Dublin.”
Engineers were working “24 hours a day” to identify the cause of the problem which had resulted in a change of character in the water, he said. New poly-electrolytes which help gather impurities – introduced on Thursday night – were proving effective, but Mr Phillips said there was no guarantee they would continue to work.
The council would review the situation on a daily basis, and would take a decision to change the current level of restrictions “when appropriate”. He said this could take some time.
Chief executive of the restaurant association Adrian Cummins said businesses reliant on the night-time economy could no longer sustain the cuts.
“I am absolutely shocked by the arrogance and the flippant attitude of the council. They clearly can’t deal with this so the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning needs to step in,” he said.