Appeal to customers in Kerry to turn off taps and check for leaks

21 December 2022

Information below is relevant until further updates are provided here or on our Supply and Service Updates section.

Freezing weather and thaw has led to increase in burst pipes

Following the freezing weather last week followed by a thaw, Uisce Éireann continues to remind householders and businesses in Kerry to check for leaks on their properties and report leaks on the public network or by calling 1800 278 278.

The sub-zero temperatures last week have increased the number of frozen water pipes and bursts, causing increased pressure on water supplies across the county. 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.
Uisce Éireann, working in partnership with Kerry County Council, have crews on the ground to maintain essential water and wastewater services. Repairs of leaks caused by burst mains continue to take place at dozens of locations. While our raw water reservoirs and sources are full at this time of year, demand for water has notably increased and is putting pressure on the supply of treated water in our storage reservoirs. As a result, there may continue to be temporary interruptions to the water supply in Rathmore and Barraduff.

Customers can also do their bit to help avoid expensive repairs and disrupted water supply at home or in their business by taking a few easy, preventative measures. These include checking outside pipes that can become frozen and burst during periods of cold weather and, if possible, turn off water supply to these areas or to any unoccupied premises. They can also report a leak on the public network online via Uisce Éireann’s dedicated webpage or by calling the customer team on 1800 278 278.

We would also ask people never to leave taps running as this will not necessarily prevent pipes from freezing and can bleed the network and seriously impact your local water supply.

Oliver Harney, Operations Lead for Uisce Éireann offered this advice: “With the temperatures having been below freezing and a thaw now in place it is 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 we saw an example of where a single hosepipe left running overnight resulted in 60 people being without water.

 “We are constantly monitoring the levels of our reservoirs throughout the county, however, some homes and business in Rathmore and Barraduff may experience low water pressure or loss of supply due to a combination of increased demand and burst watermains. To protect and maintain supply while we conduct repairs, we are asking customers to assist us by checking for bursts and overflowing troughs on their own properties, and turning these off where they are found. We are also asking customers to check unoccupied and empty premises. I would like to thank the people of Kerry for their patience and understanding at this time.
While we continue to carry out repair works and aim to restore normal water supply as soon as possible, there could be no guarantee anywhere in Ireland that adverse weather or a burst watermain will not impact on supply on occasion. However, we are working as quickly and as safely as possible in an attempt to have a more reliable supply to customers over Christmas.
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.