Night time restrictions may be required for customers on the Scheme, as water supply levels continue to drop

  • Night time restrictions may be required on the Portlaoise Water Supply  in the coming weeks
  • Irish Water is asking consumers conserve water where possible and report leaks immediately to 1850 278 278
  • Reduction in demand, along with prolonged, heavy rainfall, are necessary to avoid ongoing restrictions that may be necessary into next Spring
  • Irish Water to continue monitoring water supply levels on an ongoing basis

Irish Water is appealing to customers on the Portlaoise Water Supply Scheme to conserve water. The Utility is advising that water restrictions may be necessary in the coming weeks, as water levels continue to drop in the aquifers that supply water to the Scheme.

Scheme does not have sufficient storage to sustain a full water supply to the population 

Homes and businesses on the public water supply in Portlaoise and surrounding areas are supplied by groundwater that comes from a number of local aquifer sources. The aquifers are underground lakes from which water is extracted via well fields and then piped to the water treatment plant at Kilminchy before being delivered to customers.

After the exceptionally dry summer, the aquifers that feed the Scheme currently do not have sufficient storage to sustain a full water supply to the population dependent on it over the coming months. Approximately 28,000 customers depend on the Portlaoise Water Supply Scheme for their residential and business needs.

Commenting on the situation, John O’Donoghue, Irish Water Operations Manager for the East and Midlands said, ‘Under normal weather conditions, water levels would drop over the summer but then start to replenish in September and October. This has not been the case this year. Continued low rainfall levels mean the water supply is at an historic low. Even if there was a prolonged spell of heavy rain, it would take a number of months for that rain to percolate through soils and bedrock to recharge the aquifers and become available for abstraction'.

Irish Water is working steadfastly to do everything possible to avoid having to introduce restrictions. However, it is looking more and more likely that restrictions may be unavoidable and people need to be aware of what may be coming down the line. We are appealing to customers to conserve water wherever possible and report any leaks they see, immediately to Irish Water on 1850 278 278.’’

Irish Water continues to carry out a range of works in order to avoid the implementation of restrictions. These include:

  • Finding and fixing leaks on the Portlaoise Water Supply Scheme.
  • Replacement of aging water mains in order to combat the leakage
  • Irish Water is also currently at design stage of a project to put in  additional wells into production at the Coolbanagher Wellfield including the laying of 1.4 kms of pipeline to connect the wells to the existing network. It is planned to award a contract for this work before the end of this year with works due to be completed in early 2019.

More information

Irish Water wishes to thank consumers for their ongoing efforts to conserve water and asks that they continue to do so in every way possible.  

For tips on how to conserve water at home, visit our Water Conservation page. For information on how to conserve water for businesses, visit our business Water Conservation page. 

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