County Council make urgent appeal on water

With water restrictions set to remain in place across most of Donegal this week, council officials have made an urgent appeal to the people of Inishowen to identify leaks and conserve water.

The call comes after thousands of homes throughout the peninsula have been left without water throughout the Christmas period, and many others have faced massive disruptions to their supply.

Liam Ward, Director of Housing and Corporates Services, Donegal County Council, said more than half of the homes and businesses in the county are currently experiencing water restrictions, while up to 20% of homes and premises were completely without water during the worst of the shortages on St Stephen’s Night and Monday:

“We are currently experiencing huge water losses, but we hope to have water restored to everyone within the next couple of days and the situation should ease considerably by the end of the weekend.”

The Council are asking everyone in the county to co-operate with them to help reduce the exceptional level of demand and to help sort out leaks.

“We are asking everyone to check their properties for leaks, especially the owners of private properties.

“We believe that, at this stage, most of the big losses are through leakages at private properties - whether from taps that have been left running, from burst mains which have not yet been identified, or from leaks that have not yet been repaired.

“We would also ask the public to please be patient with us. Our crews are working flat out, day and night, doing their utmost to repair burst pipes and leaks. We fully appreciate how difficult it is to be without water but our resources are stretched to their limits.”

Con McLaughlin, of DCC Water and Environment Services, also emphasised the need to identify and repair leaks:

“The important message here is that we wish to continue our appeal to the public to help eliminate wastage and conserve water.

“We are asking key holders of all types of properties to check their properties for water losses as soon as possible. The sooner that is done, the sooner we can reduce the exceptional demand for water and return to normality.”

Water restrictions were in place in the following areas throughout the week: Quigley’s Point, Muff, Greencastle, Carndonagh,Malin Head, Manorcunningham, The Rosses, Gweedore, Leitirmacaward, Ardara, Gortahork, Falcarragh, Creeslough, Dunfanaghy, Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Ballintra, Rossnowlagh, Donegal Town, Frosses, Mountcharles, Convoy, Castlefin, Raphoe, Lifford, Ballinacor, Tievebrack, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, Three Glens, Momeen Group Scheme, Rahan, Ballyboe, Scibley, Lismonaghan, Correnagh, Rockhill, Newmills, Conwall, Ballyraine and Ramelton.

Council officials expect that many of these restrictions will continue, and have warned there may be interruptions in the Quigley’s Point / Iskaheen areas where demand remains very high.

- Do not leave taps running as this is counterproductive.

- Continue to check vacant properties where internal plumbing may have been damaged by freezing conditions.

- Ideally the water supply to vacant buildings should be turned off and systems drained of all water, e.g. where members of the public who are going on holiday during the coming months, they should turn off the water supply and drain all water out of the system before leaving the property.

- Farmers should check all field connections and turn off leaking drinking troughs. This has proven to be a serious problem in rural areas in recent years. Farmers should also check for burst pipes in farm buildings and burst hoses lying over ground.

- Caravan park owners should turn off the water supply to eliminate wastage, as many caravan parks are in remote areas where plumbing may be exposed and water losses can be slow to appear.

Report any suspected leaks on watermains or wastages to Donegal County Council on (074) 9172399.