Request for Guildhall fountains to be turned back on when hosepipe ban ends

Fountains.
Fountains.

With the hosepipe ban due to be lifted tomorrow one local councillor has asked if the popular fountains in Guildhall Square can be turned back on.

Sinn Féin councillor, Sandra Duffy, issued the request during this afternoon's meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council's Environment and Regeneration Committee in the Guildhall.

"The hosepipe ban is to be lifted as of noon tomorrow. Is it possible we could have the fountains turned back on?" she asked.

During the meeting SDLP councillor, Brian Tierney, observed that the system powering the decorative waterworks outside the Guildhall utilised recycled water mainly.

He asked the Council's Head of Environment, Conor Canning, if turning off the taps outside the building was a means of avoiding any potentially negative perception that might have arisen from the fountains gushing despite an ongoing public hosepipe ban.

Mr. Canning replied that while the system in Guildhall Square was largely fed from recycled water when it became depleted fresh water was also drawn, albeit only around 100 litres per day.

He said the Council wanted to respect Northern Ireland Water's request for the discontinuance of all non-essential water use.

Meanwhile, speaking ahead of the lifting of the hosepipe ban, Sara Venning, CEO of NI Water, said: “Thanks to the fantastic response from the public to our appeals to conserve water we have seen demand for water decrease from three quarters of a billion litres per day, (some 30 per cent above average) to near normal levels.

“This means our water treatment works, which were struggling to meet this exceptional demand with large scale water supply interruptions imminent, are now coping comfortably with demand. This allows us to lift the hosepipe ban from noon tomorrow.

“We would stress, however, that a continued focus on water conservation is essential. Ideally we would like to see demand reduced still further or at least maintained at its present level to avoid the prospect of the ban having to be reintroduced. This is achievable if we continue to use water wisely.

“Many customers have adopted new habits and ways to conserve water in everyday life and we hope they will continue with these changes in their daily lives."