29 May 2020 Go back to News
Night-time restrictions required to safeguard the water supply for customers in Ballinasloe and surrounding areas as river levels continue to drop
Nightly restrictions in place from 9pm until 9am
Irish Water and Galway County Council wish to advise customers in Ballinasloe in particular in the Kiltormer, Cloonlahan and Cloontuskert areas that essential overnight water restrictions are being introduced due to a significant increase in demand for water and reducing water reservoir levels. The restrictions will be in place nightly from 9pm until 9am with immediate effect.
These restrictions are necessary to ensure a continuous daily water supply is available for residents in the Kiltormer, Cloonlahan and Cloontuskert areas.
Irish Water working in partnership with Galway County Council continues to urge the people of Ballinasloe and surrounding areas to continue conserving water in every way possible as the weather conditions remain warm and the drought water levels in rivers, lakes and boreholes continues to impact on reservoir levels.
Although Ballinasloe Water Treatment Plant is currently operating at full capacity, water demand in the area is higher than production rates and reservoir levels cannot be maintained. Supplementary pumps have been deployed due to low water levels in the River Suck, which are decreasing at a significant rate. Customers in Ballinasloe, Laurencetown, Eyrecourt and Kiltormer are urged to reduce water usage in every way possible to ensure a continuous supply for all.
As well as reducing consumption, we are appealing to the public to report leaks on the public water network to 1850 278 278 and to repair private side leaks in both homes and in businesses. With people adhering to government advice and staying at home since mid-March in response to the Covid-19 crisis, Irish Water has confirmed that there has been a significant increase in household water usage.
New domestic metering data has revealed that households are using an additional 24 litres of water per person per day, a 20% increase from February. Water utilities in the UK have reported a similar increase.
Non-domestic water usage has decreased with many businesses, construction sites, schools, colleges, gyms, hotels, bars and restaurants temporarily closed. This reduction in demand has helped to off-set some of the domestic demand, however as domestic demand represents two thirds of our business, our water supply is still under pressure.
In addition, when Government restrictions are lifted, many commercial premises will need to use extra water to clean and flush their plumbing systems and storage tanks or to complete deep cleans, while water usage in homes will continue to remain higher than normal.
As many water treatment plants are already working to their maximum capacity, Irish Water is appealing to the public to prioritise handwashing over power washing and to conserve water now where they can, so that together we can meet the increased demands on our network as restrictions are relaxed for businesses.
Ballinasloe is the third such water supply in Co. Galway to be impacted by increased demand and the recent prolonged dry weather conditions. There are already night time water restrictions in place on Inis Oirr and Inis Mór and public water supplies in Ahascragh, Gort, Dunmore and Ballinasloe are at risk of reaching drought levels.
There are some simple measures that the public can take including stopping the use of power washers at home; using a watering can rather than a hose in the garden; taking showers over baths; and fixing any dripping taps where it is possible to do so. There is advice and guidance for homes, businesses and farms, including information on how much water you can save with simple measures on water.ie/conservation.
Speaking about the need to conserve water, Irish Water’s Asset Operations Lead for Galway, Tim O’Connor, said:
“It is really important that everyone follows the HSE guidance on handwashing, however there are some ways to conserve water that will not impact on hygiene. Insights from meter reads show that households are now using 20% more water and we can see a significant change in water usage patterns in commuter belt towns and rural areas where significant numbers of people would usually be out of the house for long periods during the day. We are also conscious that we have had an extremely dry spell so we are continually monitoring our water sources for any signs of drought. We are thankful to the residents on Inis Oirr and Inis Mór who have been conserving water where possible for a number of weeks now and where there are already nightly restrictions in place. We would urge consumers supplied by the Ahascragh, Dunmore, Gort and Ballinasloe water supplies to be particularly mindful of their use at this time due to depleting water levels in their water sources.
“In Irish Water, we are continually looking at what we call the supply / demand balance. This means that we need to ensure that we can supply more treated drinking water than is required for use. We can manage this by conserving water; losing less by repairing leaks; and supplying smarter by ensuring that all of our plants are working optimally.
“It is essential that we act now to protect our supply and safeguard our water for essential usage. We can all work together to conserve water where possible and to ensure emergency leaks are being repaired".