Unauthorised use of fire hydrants impacting water supply to customers in Rathnew

31 August 2022

Irish Water is working with Wicklow County Council to maintain the water supply for customers in Rathnew. This follows unauthorised use of fire hydrants for purposes other than fire fighting for which they are intended. Hydrants are for use only by authorised personnel for firefighting purposes and should not be used for any purpose other than fire-fighting by the Fire Service. Misuse of fire hydrants has the potential to put lives in danger and prolong or extend damage to premises in the event of an incident where water is unavailable due to unauthorised use. In the current extreme weather conditions, misuse is impacting Irish Water’s ability to meet customers’ water supply needs.

Irish Water and Wicklow County Council crews are onsite working to maintain supplies for homes and businesses and prevent any further disruption to the water supply.

Kevin Love, Irish Water, commented: “Fire hydrants provide an essential role in the maintenance of the water system as well as fire protection for local communities. Unauthorised use of fire hydrants can threaten the quality of water delivered to homes and business, interrupt supply and can lower pressure in the water lines required for firefighting purposes.

We are continuing to work with stakeholders across Wicklow and are appealing to the public to be vigilant and report any unauthorised activity surrounding hydrants to Irish Water, An Garda Síochána, or Wicklow County Council.

Issues of unauthorised use of fire hydrants include:

  • Insufficient or no water to fight fires
  • The loss of water through hydrants limits the water available to supply homes and businesses
  • The loss of water reduces the water pressure to supply homes and businesses
  • Potential flooding of premises and damage to property
  • Serious damage to the pipes and to the hydrants themselves
  • Possible contamination of the public water supply

Irish Water and Wicklow County Council are appealing to the public not to tamper or open fire hydrants without permission and request the assistance of the public by reporting details of any such incidents immediately to Irish Water, An Garda Síochána, or Wicklow County Council.

The Irish Water customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries. For updates please visit the Supply and Service Updates section of our website.

Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.