‘Critically low’ reservoirs force new water restrictions

Posted by | January 07, 2011 | Blog, News | No Comments

Thousands of residents on the east side of the city are facing more water woes this weekend as Galway City Council introduces fresh restrictions on supply from reservoirs.

Supply from the Briarhill water reservoir was restricted last night (Thursday) and again tonight between 10pm and 7am – the local authority concedes that the night time restrictions could be repeated again Saturday and Sunday.

This means that hundreds of homes and businesses in Doughiska and Roscam will be without water or have low pressure.

The Briarhill reservoir had returned to reasonable levels in recent days, but the City Council says the new restrictions are being introduced in order to replenish Ballybane reservoir, which remains critically low and which is connected to the Briarhill reservoir.

“Water levels at Ballybane reservoir are still quite low and it hasn’t had an opportunity to rebuild because of a number of leaks in the Ballybane area which are being dealt with,” a spokesperson for the Council said. By restricting Briarhill the Council hopes Ballybane will refill.

Clifton Hill on Circular Road and Tonabrocky reservoirs are still not back to normal but water levels have recovered substantially from the critically low levels last week.

The City Council says that most areas have had water restored although individual homes in some estates citywide as well as several ‘pockets’ in parts of the city – particularly in high-lying areas or older areas – remain without water, three weeks after the shortages began.

Meanwhile, Director of Services for Transport and Infrastructure Ciarán Hayes is expected to tell Councillors at Monday’s meeting that the already cash-strapped local authority has spent up to €200,000 more than it had budgeted for during the latest winter weather and water crisis.

The additional expenditure was on extra salt and grit supplies for the roads during the December freeze; the cost of repairing potholes as a result of the extreme weather; as well as the cost of the water shortages including paying Council staff overtime and employing outside contractors to deal with fixing leaks when the Stephen’s Day thaw arrived. Emergency Government funding is expected to be sought to cover the additional costs.

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