Council tracks leaks that led to water cuts

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Council tracks leaks that led to water cuts

Supply due to be restored to homes west of city today


THE City Council are hoping to have a water supply restored to householders in estates on the western side of the city later today, as the severe weather continues to take its toll.

Four main leaks in the mains pipe network around the city — as well as householders leaving taps running overnight — lie at the root of the current water problem, according to the City Council.

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Dublin City Council is expected to announce later today if it intends to continue restricting water supplies throughout the weekend.

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Dublin City Council is expected to announce later today if it intends to continue restricting water supplies throughout the weekend.

Overnight restrictions were introduced earlier this week in an effort to conserve supplies.

Supplies ran low after some householders left taps on to prevent their pipes from freezing during the cold spell.

Elsewhere, snow and ice clearing operations will begin on the M9 motorway in Co Kildare this morning, leading to delays for motorists.

The works, which begin at 8am, will affect the northbound and southbound carriageways at various times during the day.

Pedestrians have been warned to take care as footpaths remain dangerous as the ice melts.

Meanwhile, Bus Éireann says that most of its services are operating normally, but there is some disruption in the northeast and east.

Council battling to plug leaks and repair burst pipes

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The Galway City council staff were yesterday battling to deal with the disruption of water supplies in the west side of the city by monitoring and repairing burst pipes and leaks on the mains.

According to a statement from Galway City Council there was some improvement in the water levels in the reservoirs, however demand remained “exceptionally high” throughout the city. It is believed that this relentless demand on the troubled water supplies is due to a combination of taps being left running and pipes bursting in the cold weather. City council staff are continuing to work on repairing these burst pipes and any leaks on the mains as and when they become aware of them.

The Claremont and Rockfield Park area of Rahoon has been experiencing low pressure and council staff were in the area on Tuesday afternoon setting up standpipes.

The statement goes on to explain: “As water service crews work to restore sufficient pressure for the water supply, some houses and premises, particularly in elevated areas of Knocknacarra (including Upper Ballymoneen Road), Rahoon, and the Circular Road area, may experience diminished water pressure and temporary loss of water supply”.

Council staff had repaired three major leaks which occurred on Monday and were also called to deal with a reported four leaks in the Shantalla, Taylor’s Hill, and Salthill areas this week.

The city council has issued an apology to affected householders saying that while it regrets the “inconvenience” caused, the “adjustment of pressure and service to different estates and areas at different times is essential to distribute the available water supply”. The council added that it is working to avoid the situation that has arisen in other local authorities where all the water supply has been suspended completely at night time.

Icy conditions continue but thaw expected later in week

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IT WILL be “bitterly cold” tonight and the thaw will not be felt until tomorrow at the earliest, Met Éireann has warned.

Parts of the northeast, midlands and east Munster yesterday received further snowfalls, and in many areas it fell on compacted ice.

At Dublin airport Aer Lingus has cancelled today’s early-morning arrival from Boston. This follows the cancellation of flights between Dublin and the UK, France, Spain and Germany yesterday. Air France and Aer Arran also cancelled flights yesterday while a number of other airlines experienced delays.

Iarnród Eireann said all services were operating fully yesterday.

Dublin Bus said road conditions were still expected to be very icy across the city today and it will continue to monitor all routes with regular updates on its website, Bus Éireann said it will assess the situation early this morning and it too will have regular updates on its website,

All users of public transport have been advised to contact their service providers before leaving home.

Up to 10,000 homes were without power yesterday evening in Donegal due to a “major fault” in the area. Weather conditions hampered crews as sleet and snow fell last night.

Eircom reported a fibre break on an underground cable between Listowel, Co Kerry and Foynes, Co Limerick. About 8,850 broadband customers and 750 telephone customers had their service restored by yesterday evening and the company said efforts to reconnect about 1,150 customers in Killorglin would continue.

The Government’s emergency taskforce will continue to co-ordinate efforts today as the ESB reconnects homes which were cut off during the cold spell.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey warned motorists to continue to be vigilant and confirmed Operation Freeflow, the annual deployment of extra gardaí on the streets of Dublin, had begun on December 1st. He also appealed to householders to check on their elderly neighbours during the ongoing cold spell.

Dublin City Council engineer Michael Phillips said the cost of having workers out on the streets clearing snow, as well as the extra costs for salt and gritting, were running close to €1 million.

Sean O’Neill of the National Roads Authority said salt was being transported around the country to areas of most need and while supplies were as low as 25,000 tonnes nationally, he anticipated they would be back up to 50,000 tonnes by Christmas.

Dwindling levels lead to water supply cuts

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CUTS TO water supplies throughout Dublin city and county could continue until Christmas, a senior local authority engineer has warned.

The four Dublin local authorities have begun to implement night-time water restrictions, cutting the supply to houses between 7pm and 7am, which will affect some suburbs more than others.

The cuts are needed because of the dwindling supplies at the county’s reservoirs caused by leaks and wasting of water by residents who have been running taps in the belief that it will prevent pipes from freezing.

The levels of water in the reservoirs serving the city and county have been falling by an average of 20 megalitres (million litres) per day. The demand for water had increased over the last week from 538 megalitres on Sunday November 28th to 575 last Sunday. Dublin’s water treatment plants can produce about 560 megalitres per day.

City manager John Tierney has assured Dubliners that water tanks in every home or business will have sufficient quantity to cover the amount of water needed when water will be restricted.

“We acknowledge and appreciate the high level of co-operation and assistance already received from consumers. With their continued support it will be possible to limit the level of restrictions.”

However, he said supplies would only be maintained if householders didn’t leave taps running during the cold weather or hoard water in baths.

Water restrictions in the city began last night and are planned to continue for the next two nights, the city manager said, with cuts to the supply running into buildings in some parts of the city and reductions in pressure in others.

However, senior engineer with South Dublin County Council Dermot Finch said the restrictions in his area could continue for weeks. “We’ll be turning off the water every night for the foreseeable future until such time as the reservoirs recover. If the residents don’t run the taps unnecessarily and don’t fill baths, we hope the the restrictions will end by Christmas.”

Fingal County Council has planned restrictions for the next three nights. A different selection of suburbs will be chosen each night so that no area has its water cut two nights in a row. The council is advising householders not to run dishwashers or washing machines, which can draw a significant amount of water, on the days that restrictions apply to their areas.

Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council will decide which areas will have a cut in supply by 5pm each day. The council has not determined how long the cuts will continue but has advised that older houses are likely to experience delays in the restoration of full supplies each day.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce said the lack of notice for the cuts was unacceptable.

“It is completely frustrating that there has been no communication with ratepayers who are funding this city,” spokesman Patrick King said. “It’s unbelievable that householders are again running taps after what happened in January and it shows up the urgent need for domestic charging for water.

Labour city councillor Kevin Humphreys said it was unfortunate that the council hadn’t been able to give more notice of the restrictions, but the loss of water became a major issue only last weekend.

“We need to act now as a matter of urgency. If we can reduce the usage of water over the next few weeks, we can avoid having to bring in the tankers as we did last January when households were left without water.”

Details of the restrictions will be available each day on the local authority websites:,, and

Prevention, Leak Detection and Repair of burst and frozen water pipes

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Due to the prolonged cold spell with sub zero temperatures frozen and burst water pipes are becoming a problem. SES LTD have provided householders and commercial premises with a number of tips on how to decrease the risk of pipes becoming frozen and resulting in leaks.

The first course of action is prevention. A property owner can decrease the risk of frozen pipes by undertaking a variety of measures including:

  1. Increasing the temperature in the attic by opening the attic trap door to allow heat from the house to circulate in the attic space or by leaving the attic light on.
  2. Increasing the room temperature in the house or business premises by placing your heating on a timer to allow it to come on intermittently for short periods. This is particularly important during the night.
  3. Insulating the external stopcock which is located outside your property by placing foam or carpet over it, or by placing rags or cloths in the stop cock chamber. Remember any measures carried out must be completed in a manner which is safe and does not create a hazard for you or the general public.
  4. If you own a house or a business premises that is currently closed or unoccupied, visit the property and check the heating system is set to heat the property.
  5. Farmers should check outlying farm buildings and other remote properties for leaks and regularly check service pipes to water troughs.
  6. Before the end of the cold spell all property owners should familiarise themselves with the location of their external stopcock outside their property and know how to turn off their water supply. A domestic internal stopcock is generally found underneath the kitchen sink. This can be important if a pipe bursts. Turning off the water promptly as soon as a burst pipe is detected will limit potential damage, particularly from the attic.

How do I know i have a leak?

  1. The first step is to locate the water meter(generally found near the boundary of the premises).
  2. When your premises are not in use, turn off all water fittings, including taps and cisterns. Remember to turn the fittings back on when the test is complete.
  3. Take a reading from your water meter. Note the figure and the date and time. If you have more than one meter, take note of all meter readings.
  4. If possible leave your water fittings turned off for a few hours, e.g. overnight or over a few days or at the weekend.
  5. After this period take note of the meter reading. There should be no difference in the meter readings at the start and the end of the leak test.

If there is a significant increase between the start and the end of the test, then you may have a leak in your system. You will need to get specialist help to find the source of the leak using specialist leak detection methods.



You are responsible for maintaining all of the pipes and fittings within the boundary of your premises. It is in your interest to fix any leaks as soon as possible, as you will be billed for the water wasted.

If you are concerned regarding a domestic or commercial water leak contact SES LTD for a free consultation on 0818 288 050.

9.75 Million Euro grant allocated to schools for Water Conservation Measures

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More than 1,800 schools are to receive grants, averaging €5,348 per school, to carry out works to reduce water usage and consequently water charges.

Up to 2,000 of the country’s 4,000 primary and post primary schools applied for water conservation grants in the last academic year.

It was understood that these grants, advertised in October 2009, would be made available at the beginning of the summer and the work would be carried out over the holidays.

However, it was not until this academic year (October 21) that Tánaiste and Minister for Education & Skills Mary Coughlan announced that 1,823 schools had been approved for a slice of the €9.75m fund allocated for the grants.

Averaging €5,348 per school, the money will cover the costs of installing percussion spray taps, thermostatic mixing valves and water displacement devices.

“These works will reduce the water charges being paid by schools and I am delighted to be able to provide boards of management and trustees with a means to do so,” Minister Coughlan said.

According to the letter to schools from the department, an average 250-pupil school with water conservation measures in place paying €2.16 per cubic meter could save almost two-thirds of the €3,335 bill faced by a school without such measures and where water is not used efficiently by staff and students.

“I would ask schools to ensure that they get best value for money on prices for jobs in the more competitive construction market,” the Minister added.

However, the INTO pointed out that the varying water rates between different councils mean that some schools are facing much higher charges than others in neighbouring counties.

An INTO survey revealed that, for example, primary schools in Co Mayo pay just €0.91 per cubic metre for water supply, compared to €2.39 charged by Roscommon Co Council.

The standing charges in different local authority areas also vary widely, from €100 a year in Thurles Town Council to €212 in Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council. (Source: Irish Examiner)

Smart Energy Systems Ltd are offering all the products available under the government water conservation measures grant at very competitive prices.

These include:

1) Water displacement devices such hippo bags. click here for link.

2) Variable flushing devices. click here for link.

3) Thermostatic mixing valves. Click here for link.

4) Water saving push taps. Click here for link.

5) Urinal Controls. Click here for link.

All our products are WRAS approved and are suitable for installation in all schools. We provide a free consultation service and look forward to hearing from anyone with questions about reducing their water consumption.

We’ve selected the best ideas for saving water for the new Irish Government water conservation scheme, a programme being launched now. So dont miss out. Pick up the phone for more information and to receive a free quotation tailored to your needs.

Smart Energy Systems Ltd also provides a specialist leak detection service along with providing other innovative water conservation products such as waterless urinals.

€9.75m scheme to promote water conservation measures in 1,823 schools – Tánaiste

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‘Funding of almost €10m will see major improvements in water conservation in primary and post primary schools around the country,’ says Tánaiste.

1,823 primary and post primary schools across the country will be able to carry out works to reduce their use of water under a €9.75m scheme announced today  by the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan TD.

Announcing the fund, the Tánaiste said: ‘I am delighted to confirm that these 1,823 schools will benefit from funding which will help to reduce their use of  water, with a consequent reduction in the running cost of schools.

‘The fund of almost €10 million will finance over 1,823 projects in these schools to reduce their water usage through the installation of water displacement devices, percussion spray taps, thermostatic mixing valves and other water controls.

‘These works will reduce the water charges being paid by schools and I am delighted to be able to provide Boards of Management and Trustees with a means to do so.

‘I’d ask schools to ensure that they get best value for money on prices for jobs in the more competitive construction market,’ said the Tánaiste.

The Planning and Building Unit will shortly contact all schools approved for grant aid under the scheme with further details and instructions on how to proceed

This latest announcement forms part of this year’s €579 million school building and modernisation programme.

The programme makes a very significant contribution towards job creation in the construction sector.