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Dubliners asked to conserve water for the festive season

Tuesday, 24th December, 2019 7:00pm
Dubliners asked to conserve water for the festive season

Householders are being urged to conserve water this Christmas. PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

Dubliners asked to conserve water for the festive season

Householders are being urged to conserve water this Christmas. PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

IRISH Water and local authorities in the Greater Dublin Area have appealed to customers to conserve water during the busy Christmas period as demand reaches record levels.

There has been a steady increase in demand over the past few weeks, as is normally the case prior to Christmas. The utility company said that conserving water now will reduce the risk of restrictions on the supply.

The recent increase in demand is higher than any previous year and, at 10 million litres a day, is enough water to fill Liberty Hall. As work continues on the old Leixlip Water Treatment Plant, production capacity has been reduced and householders are asked to help manage demand while filters are replaced and the facility is upgraded.

Irish Water is appealing to customers to conserve water through actions such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth and shaving, which can save up to six litres of water per minute. Keeping a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the cold tap can save 10 litres of water per day.

John O’Donoghue of Irish Water said: “We are appealing to the public to conserve water where possible and to only use what they need. We’ve seen demand creeping up in recent weeks and there is currently no headroom in the system. Safe, clean, treated water is not in unlimited supply and we all have to play a part in conserving it.

“During the drought last year, the conservation measures that people were taking in their homes and businesses helped to significantly reduce demand. However, when the urgency of a drought passes, and in the middle of winter, it is easy to lose focus on how precious water is. Our priority is to maintain the water supply and to avoid placing restrictions and in order to do this we need the public’s support.”

He added: “With our local authority partners, Irish Water is fixing leaks and upgrading the water supply system. As part of our leakage reduction programme, Irish Water has replaced almost 90km of water mains in the Greater Dublin Area since 2018, which is the equivalent of two M50s. Overall, we have seen a reduction in the leakage rate which now stands at 37 percent in the Dublin area.”

Meanwhile, Fingal councillors have met with representatives from Irish Water following the two recent Boil Water Notices that affected supply in the Greater Dublin region.

Irish Water’s National Head of Asset Operations, Michael O’Leary, attended a meeting of the Organisation and Procedure Committee at County Hall in Swords. Irish Water had previously been invited to the full council meeting in November but declined to attend.

Mr O’Leary briefed councillors on the up-to-date position following the incidents that occurred at the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant in October and November. He went through the actions required in the short, medium and long-term and also listed the next steps before answering a wide range of questions from councillors.

Leixlip supplies 30 per cent of the water supply for the Greater Dublin Region, including the majority of the 300,000 citizens living in Fingal. Around one-third of the water it produces comes from the new plant, which was constructed in 2014, with the remaining two-thirds of the supply being produced by the older plant.

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