Achill Island businesses leading the way in water conservation

Irish Water working in partnership with Mayo County Council would like to thank businesses on Achill Island for their ongoing efforts to promote and support water conservation efforts on the Island and prevent potential water shortages.

Gerard Greally, Asset Operations Lead for Irish Water, explains: “Over the last number of years the west of Ireland and the islands were particularly badly hit by the drought with months of restrictions in place. Safeguarding that water supply for the future for customers on Achill Island and visitors to the island is a vital focus for us.

With over 2,800 customers on the island and a further influx of visitors during the summer months it’s now more important than ever for people to conserve water where possible to ensure a continuous supply for everyone for essential handwashing and hygiene purposes. Supporting businesses to become more sustainable in how they use water is critical to safeguarding water supplies for the future.

Earlier this year Irish Water completed a number of upgrades to equipment at the water treatment plant on Achill Island and the addition of new equipment during this phase of works, has improved the quality of the water and the capacity of the plant to treat higher volumes of water.

Work is also underway to reduce the level of leakage and unaccounted for water within the supply network with a dedicated find & fix team currently on the island. Anyone who sees a leak on the public side is asked to please report it to Irish Water on 1800 278 278 and we will send a team out to fix it.

In addition to fixing public leaks, Irish Water’s First Fix Free scheme was recently extended meaning an additional 600,000 customers can now benefit from Irish Water’s free leak repair service. The scheme provides customers with support in identifying and fixing leaks. Irish Water offers a free leak investigation and, when a potential leak has been identified, a free repair to a leak detected on an external supply pipe on the customer’s property and this is open to residents on Achill Island.

Chris McCarthy, Achill Tourism is encouraging everyone on the island to lower their water consumption: “Water is a precious resource and we want everyone to work together to conserve water and to try to prevent potential water supply shortages, which could lead to water restrictions in the future. It’s really important that we all play our part to lower water consumption, this not only helps protects our local supply – it can also protect the environment and reduce our bills.

Speaking about the importance of water conservation, Michael Kane, Achill Outdoor Education and Training Centre, added: “Water is a critically important resource and supporting businesses to become more sustainable in how they use water is critical to safeguarding our supplies for the future. Even small changes such as identifying potential water waste, raising awareness amongst our staff and visitors, or upgrading to water efficient devices can help to save water and money.

While handwashing remains a priority, simple water conservation efforts can have a big impact on reducing demand on the water supply. There are tips on how to conserve water in your home, in your business and on your farm on the Water Conservation section of our website.

Every day Irish business uses circa 510 million litres of water in Ireland (the equivalent of 10 times the amount needed to supply a city the size of Limerick). Irish Water is also running a water stewardship training programme in partnership with Central Solutions and the Lean & Green Skillnet. The training will support our business customers with training on how to lower water consumption and reduce operating costs while protecting the environment. More information on this is available on our Water conservation for business hub.