An appeal to customers on Lough Mourne Water Supply to turn off taps and check for leaks

16 December 2022

With the freezing weather likely to pass for a period in Co Donegal and some thaw setting in, Uisce Éireann is asking customers on the Lough Mourne Water Supply to check for leaks and help maintain the supply. 

In recent days Uisce Éireann has seen a noticeable increase in water usage on the network. In order to facilitate the replenishment of reservoirs and ensure a daytime supply, overnight restrictions are required from 10pm to 7am until further notice. 

The areas affected include Ballybofey and Stranorlar, Liscooley Group Water Scheme, Rossgier to Porthall and Rossgier to Cavan Hill and customers served by the Tievebrack, Ballynacor and Gleneely/Lismullaghduff Reservoirs. 

Customers on high ground may experience loss of pressure or loss of supply during these hours. 

Operations Lead with Uisce Éireann, Seamus O’Brien, assured customers that crews are working to restore full supply to all customers and asked the public to continue their efforts to conserve water and check for leaks. 

While our raw water reservoirs and sources are full at this time of year, demand for water has increased and is putting pressure on the supply of treated water in our storage reservoirs. Uisce Éireann crews are on the ground, working in partnership with Donegal County Council, to maintain supply and we are asking customers to turn off taps and check for leaks.

The sub-zero temperatures in recent days have increased the number of frozen water pipes and bursts, causing increased demand on water supplies across the region. Freezing water expands and strains the pipes until they crack or burst, not only impacting older, weakened pipes but also modern pipes that are laid in shallow ground and vulnerable to temperature drops.

Seamus appealed to customers to do their bit to help avoid expensive repairs and a disrupted water supply at home or in their business by taking a few easy, preventative measures. 

With the temperatures having been below freezing and some element of thaw beginning, it's essential to continue the regular maintenance of your property and check premises for leaks. It also a good idea to familiarise yourself with your own internal water system and particularly how to turn off your supply at the stopcock so that you can protect your property in the event of a burst pipe. 

“We also recommend that people don’t run taps continually as this is not an effective way of preventing frozen pipes and can cause other problems such as frozen drains. It also puts further pressure on water supplies that are already challenged by the freezing conditions. For example, in one rural location this year a single hosepipe left running overnight resulted in 60 people being without water."

To help people avoid issues like this and stay safe, warm and comfortable during the cold snap, we have lots of helpful advice on our website, www.water.ie/winterproofing. There is also advice on general winter readiness at www.winterready.ie.

Customer can report leaks on the public network on our website or by calling our customer team on 1800 278 278. 

The Uisce Éireann Customer Care Team is also available to help 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and there is lots of advice on being winter ready on Twitter @IrishWater.