Water to be curtailed to homes in Dublin


DUBLIN CITY Council is to start cutting water supplies to homes in the coming days to try to restore volumes in the city’s reservoirs which have dropped substantially during the bad weather.

The planned cuts will take place between 7pm and 7am, but city manager John Tierney said households would have sufficient tank capacity to ensure they do not run out of water if supplies were used sensibly.

Speaking to city councillors last night, Mr Tierney said the cold weather had caused leaks and burst pipes. However, there was no doubt that “some people are leaving their taps running again”.

The demand for water had increased over the last week from 538 megalitres on Sunday, November 28th, to 575 megalitres last Sunday. The city’s water treatment plants can produce around 560 megalitres per day.

“That level of demand is not sustainable,” said Mr Tierney.

He said details of the planned restrictions would be announced in the coming days, but there would be “no need” for householders to try to store water in advance of the cuts to supply.

It would be “criminal altogether” if people filled baths which they then wastefully emptied after the restrictions were lifted.

Running taps and hoarding water in baths, in addition to cracked and burst pipes, during the severe weather last January resulted in the depletion of the water supply to the extent that there was an insufficient supply to meet normal demands.

Mr Tierney said the restrictions, if dealt with in a “calm and measured way”, should ensure water levels at the reservoirs were maintained and no households would be left without water.

The city council last night also approved a tenfold expansion of the Dublin bike scheme from 500 to 5,000 bikes. The rental bikes which are currently available in the city centre will be located from University College Dublin in Belfield to Dublin City University in Glasnevin.

The five-year plan will see the number of bike stations across the city increased from just over 40 to about 300. The bike scheme, which has been operating since September 2009, has attracted more than 47,000 subscribers, making it one the most popular bike-hire schemes in Europe.

The council has also agreed new bylaws to ban horse-drawn carriages from Dublin city unless they are fitted with dung catchers.

The city council is following the lead of Killarney Town Council which last October introduced new regulations on the jarvey [carriage drivers] trade in the town which include the compulsory use of dung catchers.

However, unlike the Killarney jarveys who face the loss of their licence for failing to use the dung catchers, Dublin carriage drivers can be fined up to €1,900.