Irish Water says supply returning with full service expected by weekend
A burst main left more than 70,000 homes and businesses without water for almost a week
Repairs on the burst water main that left more than 70,000 homes without water for the past week are now complete, Irish Water has said.
The water treatment plant at Staleen in Co Meath is back running, but the State utility said it was sticking to its expected timeline of starting to supply water again to affected households and businesses on Thursday with full normal service to return over the weekend.
More than 70,000 homes and businesses in counties Meath and Louth have been without water since the pipe burst last Friday
According to Irish Water, it will take time to to fill the water networks and replenish the reservoir, and it is advising customers to conserve water for the next few days until supply returns to normal.
“It may take several days for full service to be restored to all customers, particularly those on high ground and at the periphery of the network,” Irish Water said.
Homes and businesses in the northeast were affected after a major water main at Roughgrange near Donore, Co Meath, burst last week, shutting off the supply to Staleen Water Treatment Plant that serves Drogheda and towns and villages from Clogherhead to Ashbourne.
Irish Water said on Wednesday night the Staleen plant had been put back in production after commissioned parts were installed to fix the ruptured water main at Roughgrange.
The company said reservoir levels were continuing to refill slowly following the repair and warned it could take months and millions of euro to replace a longer part of the pipeline.
Irish Water’s preliminary view is the longer-term replacement of the 2.2 kilometres of ageing pipeline would take at least 18 months and up to €3 million to complete.
“A detailed programme for complete replacement will take a number of weeks to finalise, and we will need to undertake detailed planning and design work before we can be confident around the exact time frame for this to happen,” the company said.
Irish Water said it is not considering recommissioning the Rosehall Water Treatment Plant, which closed 18 months ago and had served as a second plant processing water for the Drogheda area.
A review was sought by local independent councillor Kevin Callan who argued, citing former staff of the plant and water experts, that Rosehall could provide a back-up if the repair to the pipeline at Roughgrange failed to restore a normal supply.
Irish Water said water would continue to be delivered to vulnerable customers until their full water supply is restored.
It also noted some customers may receive discoloured water for a period and that it will monitor water safety in the coming days.