1 November 2018 Go back to News
Night time restrictions may be required in Mullingar as water levels in Lough Owel reach critical
Restrictions may affect customers on the Mullingar Regional Water Supply Scheme
Irish Water is advising customers in Mullingar and surrounding areas that water restrictions may be necessary on the Mullingar Regional Water Supply Scheme in the coming weeks, as water levels in Lough Owel continue to drop.
We will continue to monitor the situation at Lough Owel and assess whether restrictions need to be implemented towards the end of next week. The imposition of restrictions will be dependent on a number of factors in the coming days including demand on water supply and how that affects lake level trends.
Approximately 50,000 customers depend on Lough Owel supply
After the exceptionally dry summer, Lough Owel currently does not have sufficient storage to sustain a full water supply to the population dependent on it, over the coming months. Approximately 50,000 customers depend on Lough Owel for their water supply.
The Lough is spring fed lake and any rain that falls today will take a number of months to percolate through soils and bedrock before it gets to the lake. Even though there may be heavy rain on any given day, only the rain that falls on the lake, which is minimal, will have an immediate effect.
We will continue to carry out a range of works in order to avoid the implementation of restrictions. These include:
• Finding and fixing leaks on the Mullingar Regional Water Supply Scheme.
• Amplifying the First Fix Free Scheme across Westmeath in the past weeks, alerting customers whose meters have triggered a continuous flow alarm and offering them the opportunity to avail of a free leak investigation under the Utility’s First Fix Free scheme.
Replacement of aging water mains in order to combat the leakage problem has been completed at the following location:
- Knockdrin – 3.5km of mains replaced north of the Mullingar by-pass/N4
- Tyrrellspass – 800m of mains rehabilitation
- Tore Rd Tyrellspass – 800m of mains rehabilitation
- Kilbeggan Village - full rehabilitation and lead mains replaced
- Rathconnell – 1200m of mains rehabilitation due to be commissioned this week.
- Replacement of watermains at Dublin Road Kilbeggan, Dublin Road Moate and Guildford Tyrrellspass.
- Kilbeggan Racecourse – 4.5km of mains rehabilitation due to commence in the coming month
- Mullingar - back yard service replacement due to start in November, 2018.
Commenting on the current situation, John O’Donoghue, Irish Water Head of Operations for the East and Midlands Region said ‘‘It is very important that people are aware of what may be coming down the tracks. We are 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.
The fact that we have had spells of rain in the last weeks, may make people think we are in the clear but unfortunately this is not the case. Last year we had a dry winter, combined with the exceptionally dry period over the summer, which means we would need a persistent and ongoing spell of heavy rain in order to get the levels in Lough Owel back to where they would normally be for this time of the year. To date we have not had this. I wish to thank consumers for their efforts to conserve water and ask them to continue to do so wherever possible, and report any leaks they see, immediately to Irish Water on 1850 278 278.’’
Conserve Water where possible
In addition to these works, ongoing water conservation is a key part in avoiding widespread restrictions. we would like to thank customers for their ongoing efforts to conserve water and asks that they continue to do so in every way possible. For tips of water conservation please our Conserve Water page.