Irish Water appeal to homes and businesses in the Greater Dublin and Kildare Area to check for leaks as the recent cold spell has led to a surge in demand for water

Irish Water appeal to homes and businesses in the Greater Dublin Area to check for leaks as the recent cold spell has led to a surge in demand for water

Irish Water and Local Authorities in the Greater Dublin Area are asking homes and businesses to check for leaks and to conserve water where possible whilst adhering to public health advice on hand washing and hygiene regarding Covid-19. We are asking people to do this in order to reduce overall demand for drinking water. There has been a steady increase in demand over the Christmas period spiking in the past few days following the recent cold spell that saw sub-zero temperatures over a number of days.

Following freezing temperatures and the subsequent thaw the public water network has experienced a higher than normal volume of bursts. Irish Water in partnership with our Local Authority partners are working to repair these bursts as quickly as possible in line with Covid-19 protocols in order to ensure continuity of supply. While these essential repairs are underway across the GDA we are asking customers to check for leaks, be mindful of their water use and to only use what they need.

Speaking about the current water supply situation in the GDA, Tom Cuddy, Head of Operations, Irish Water, said: “Irish Water working with the Local Authorities are currently addressing bursts across the network but we are also appealing to homes, businesses and those responsible for unoccupied buildings to check for leaks whilst adhering to current public health regulations and advice, and to turn off water where it’s not needed. We ask that they check outside pipes in particular that can become frozen and burst during periods of cold weather and report leaks they see on the public network to us. We are also asking the public to conserve water where possible and to only use what they need whilst continuing to adhere to public health advice on hand washing and hygiene regarding COVID-19. We have seen demand creeping up in recent weeks, spiking over the past few days. Safe, clean, treated water is not in unlimited supply and we all have to play a part in conserving it for essential use.”

Simple water conservation efforts can have a big impact on reducing demand on the supply such as taking showers over baths and fixing dripping taps where it is possible to do so. We are also reminding people with responsibility for properties that are currently unoccupied to check for leaks and turn off water where it is not required whilst adhering to public health regulations and advice. There are lots more tips on how to conserve water in your home, business or school on our website at https://www.water.ie/conservation/

Irish Water continues to work at this time, with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services and would like to remind the public to continue to follow public health advice on handwashing and hygiene during the global health pandemic.

To report a leak please contact Irish Water on 1850 278 278.

For press queries please contact: Annabel Fitzgerald, Regional Communications Lead, annfitzg@water.ie

Notes to editor:

Irish Water is progressing with works across the GDA that will help to build resilience in the water supply. Irish Water is adhering to government and HSE guidance on all construction activities in compliance with stringent Covid-19 controls. The safety of Irish Water staff, local authority staff and contractors working on our behalf remains our priority.

Tips to help you conserve water

Leak free: Check that your home is leak free. Check for running overflows and fix any dripping taps, cisterns or pipes

Don’t let the tap run: Brushing your teeth with the tap running can use up to a staggering 6 litres per minute. Brushing your teeth with the tap off will use a more modest 1 litre of water

Shower vs. Bath: The average bath uses 80 litres of water compared to an average shower using 49 litres in seven minutes. Switch your bath to a shower for a massive water saving

Less time: With the average shower using 7 litres of water per minute by turning your five minute shower into four minutes, you could save up to 7 litres of water per day!

Fully loaded: Always ensure your dishwasher and washing machines are fully loaded. A modern washing machine uses approximately 65 litres of water per cycle while a dishwasher uses 20 litres. By ensuring they are fully loaded, not only will you conserve water but you will also reduce your energy bill

Don’t flush it all away: A third of all water used in the home is flushed down the toilet. Some larger cisterns can continue to work effectively with a smaller flush. Place a displacement device into the cistern (out of the way of moving parts) to save water

Checking for leaks

It is important to check for and repair leaks on your premises, especially during the cold, winter months. Business owners should be mindful of the risk of frozen pipes and possible bursts if a building is left unoccupied and unheated during a spell of very cold weather. If a commercial premises is unoccupied due to Covid-19 restrictions while there is a spell of cold weather, there is an increased risk of frozen pipes and consequent damage. Business owners should regularly inspect properties for leaks during a period of closure whilst adhering to the public health regulations and advice. Small business owners can learn more on how to deal with the cold weather conditions on our Winter Proofing https://www.water.ie/support/winter-proofing/ and Frozen and Burst Pipes https://www.water.ie/support/frozen-and-burst-pipes/ sections of the Irish Water Website.

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