Irish Water reiterates request for people in Westmeath supplied by Lough Owel to conserve water

Irish Water is reiterating its request to residents and businesses in Westmeath supplied by Lough Owel to continue to conserve water usage for the foreseeable future due to the unseasonably dry weather conditions over the winter and spring.  Irish Water in partnership with Westmeath County Council are continuing to carry out repairs to leaks on the Mullingar Regional Water Supply public network which is helping to save water. To date this year, 128 leaks have been repaired on the public water distribution network. The savings from fixing the leaks will help to conserve water following the unseasonably dry weather conditions which has resulted in historically low water levels in Lough Owel for this time of year.

Irish Water is asking residents and businesses in Westmeath in Mullingar, Ballinacarrigy, Rathowen, Street, Lismacaffrey, Rathconrath, Killucan, Coralstown, Kinnegad, Milltownpass, Rochfortbridge, Tyrrellspass, Kilbeggan, Ballinagore, Gaybrook, Moate, Horseleap, Streamstown, Ballymore to conserve water for the foreseeable future and to report any leaks they see on the public network to help restore water levels in the network.  Small changes by everyone in the area can have a positive impact on the water level in Lough Owel and can help to reduce water restrictions as the year progresses. 

Irish Water’s Top Tips for Conserving Water:

  • Leak free: Check that your home is leak free. Check for running overflows and fix any dripping taps, cisterns or pipes. 
  • Don’t let the tap run: Brushing your teeth with the tap running can use up to a staggering 6 litres per minute. Brushing your teeth with the tap off will use a more modest 1 litre of water.
  • Shower vs. Bath: The average bath uses 80 litres of water compared to an average shower using 49 litres in seven minutes. Switch your bath to a shower for a massive water saving. 
  • Less time: With the average shower using 7 litres of water per minute by turning your five minute shower into four minutes, you could save up to 7 litres of water per day! 
  • Fully loaded: Always ensure your dishwasher and washing machines are fully loaded. A modern washing machine uses approximately 65 litres of water per cycle while a dishwasher uses 20 litres. By ensuring they are fully loaded, not only will you conserve water but you will also reduce your energy bills.
  • Don’t flush it all away: A third of all water used in the home is flushed down the toilet. Some larger cisterns can continue to work effectively with a smaller flush. Place a displacement device (such as a brick) into the cistern (out of the way of moving parts) to save water.
  • Don’t forget to collect: Rainwater is excellent for your garden. Collect it in a water butt from your gutters but always make sure to securely cover the large container for safety.

Commenting on the work John Gavin, Regional Operations Lead with Irish Water for Westmeath, said “Water supply levels in Lough Owel are reaching critical levels and unless there is a spell of persistent and heavy rain for a prolonged period of time it is highly unlikely water levels will be restored to the normal level for this time of year.  We are asking people to be conscious of their water consumption. Small changes by individuals can have a positive impact on water reserves. Checking your home for leaks, turning off the tap while brushing teeth, showering rather than bathing and ensuring washing machines and dishwashers are fully loaded before use are just some of the measures which will help reduce demand on water supplies.

We have been asking customers in conserve water since February but we are now reiterating this message as the water level in Lough Owel continues to reduce. This has been the driest winter and spring for some time. Data from Met Éireann confirms that the rainfall at the Mullingar Weather Station is half of the normal amount for the winter and spring time of this. Water levels in Lough Owel continue to fall due to the reduced rainfall and are currently at a historically low level for the time of the year. The savings that are made now through repairing leaks on the public network and from customers conserving water will help to reduce the risk of water supply restrictions as the year progresses. Irish Water will continue to work with Westmeath County Council to proactively identify and fix leaks in the Mullingar Area in order to save more water. I ask the public to continue to assist Irish Water and our agents Westmeath County Council to conserve water, to report any leaks that the see in the water main distribution network and to reduce wastage in their properties. Any leaks can be reported to Irish Water by calling 1850 278278 or by filling out the short report a leak form"


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