Water disruptions to continue

 

Restaurants, pub and hotels could be without water for New Year’s Eve as a result of the ongoing restrictions and breaks to water mains caused by the thaw.

A loss of water on such a busy night would be an “absolute disaster” for businesses, the Restaurants Association of Ireland has said.

Dublin City Council had intended not to cut water on New Year’s Eve but said it will have to review that position because of the huge increase in demand for water.

The draw on water supplied increased to 625 million litres yesterday, 70 million litres more than water treatment plants can produce.

“We had hoped to lift all water restrictions for New Year’s Eve, but that was before the present problems,” said Brian Smyth, senior engineer with the council.

“We’re going to have to rethink that now,” he said.

It would not be possible to make special arrangements to serve restaurants or hotels, said Mr Smyth.

“The system just doesn’t work like that. If we opened it for them, it would be open for everybody. We can send a fire engine to pump water into hospitals and nursing homes, but not for restaurants.”

Lifting the water restrictions on Friday night could lead to a drop in capacity, which would mean schools and businesses would be unable to open next week, Mr Smyth said.

“It will take quite a number of months before we get all the leaks under control, but we will be easing restrictions gradually, in a planned way as we go on.”

However Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said water cuts on New Year’s Eve would decimate the industry.

“If local authorities can’t provide us with water on New Year’s Eve, it will be an absolute disaster. December has been such a disaster with the weather and the water that many restaurants will struggle to survive.”

The association wrote to all local authorities two weeks ago seeking compensation due to loss of business because of water restrictions, but their appeal has been ignored, Mr Cummins said.

“We have one of the highest rates bills in the country, yet local authorities think it’s acceptable to leave us without water.

“If we are not compensated many businesses won’t make it to St Patrick’s Day.”

Meanwhile, household bin collections which were missed during the snow will resume this week.

Waste collectors have said they will take extra bags left neatly beside bins on the next household collection date.