Limerick public urged to conserve water as supply ‘continues to fall’

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Limerick public urged to conserve water as supply ‘continues to fall’

IRISH Water and Limerick City and County Council has appealed for the public to conserve water, as supplies remain under pressure following to this summer’s extended dry spell.

Since the period of dry weather in recent months, water levels throughout Limerick have “continued to fall”, said an Irish Water spokesperson.

The water utility company and the local council are monitoring flows and water levels throughout the county to maintain the supply of treated water and to minimise the impact of water shortages on communities and businesses, said the spokesperson.

“Areas where water supplies are under pressure at this time include Hospital, Oola, Pallasgreen, Doon, Murroe and Knocklong in the eastern part of the county and Glin and Castlemahon in west Limerick.

“We are also monitoring water levels in the Deel and the Feale which have been dropping. Areas supplied by these rivers and their tributaries include Newcastle West, Abbeyfeale and Askeaton,” added Irish Water.

All customers supplied in these areas are in particular asked to make every possible effort to conserve water.

“As a result of this unprecedented dry spell, there remains a significant risk to many public water supplies in Limerick as we go on into autumn. The medium-term forecast confirms there will be very little rain in the coming weeks. For this reason it is essential that households and businesses throughout Limerick do everything they can to conserve water and reduce demand as much as possible,” said the IW spokesperson.

Irish Water and the council have deployed hydrogeologists across the county with the aim of exploring possible new water sources and improving the operation of existing sources.

“Wherever possible, new sources will be developed over the coming weeks and months. There may be an increased frequency of water supply interruptions, as we bring new sources online. Similarly, water supply interruptions may increase due to the unprecedented ground conditions, causing ground shrinkage and an increased frequency of pipe bursts,” said the spokesperson.

“In recent weeks, Irish Water and Limerick City and County Council have successfully found a new ground water source for Hospital and are working to test the water quality from this source before bringing it online.

“In Glin, customers will be notified ahead of a planned water interruption once a new source for the area is ready to be commissioned and brought online.”

The average person uses 129 litres of water a day, say Irish Water.

“Any measures taken to reduce consumption, no matter how small, will help in terms of replenishing water supplies. Simple steps like taking a short shower instead of a bath, turning off taps and fixing leaks in outside taps all help to make a difference. We are also reminding people to report any leaks they see in the public network by calling 1850 278 278 or on the Irish Water website (water.ie),” added the spokesperson.

Below are the steps you can take to conserve water at home:

In the bathroom:

  • Choose to have a shower rather than a bath
  • Take a shorter shower and save up to 10 litres of water per minute
  • Consider only flushing the toilet when you need to
  • Fix dripping taps or leaking toilets in your home
  • When brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off the tap and save up to six litres of water per minute

In the kitchen:

  • Run your washing machine and dishwasher with full loads
  • Place a basin in the sink and use any water left over from washing vegetables on your plants
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the cold tap, which can waste 10 litres per day of water

In the garden:

  • Use a rose head watering can instead of a hose or sprinkler and aim for the roots, not the leaves
  • Water plants in the early morning or late evening to avoid unnecessary evaporation
  • Add a layer of plant material, like bark, to your flower bed to help prevent evaporation
  • If you need to wash your car, use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose