Posted: Friday December 10 2010, Blog Tags:
CUTS TO water supplies to homes and businesses in the capital are likely to persist throughout the weekend, Dublin City Council has warned.
The thaw, which began yesterday and is expected to continue over the coming days, is likely to add to the loss of water in the system as leaks and bursts in previously frozen pipes become apparent.
Motorists and pedestrians across the country have been warned to expect icy road conditions to endure over the weekend as the thaw will be gradual and there is a risk that run-off from melted snow and ice could freeze again, according to Met Éireann.
The city council began night-time water restrictions, cutting the supply to houses between 7pm and 7am last Tuesday. They had been due to end last night.
A spokesman for the council said it would be making a decision on the next three nights this afternoon. However, he said "the likelihood is that we will continue up to and including Sunday night at least".
Fingal County Council will be shutting down the supply in Dublin 15 tonight including the areas of Castleknock, Carpenterstown, Lohunda, Hartstown, Huntstown, Blakestown, Clonsilla and parts of Blanchardstown.
The council has been implementing planned cuts for the past three days but also had to put in place emergency restrictions in rural parts of the county after reservoirs serving the Naul, Ballyboughal and surrounding areas were unexpectedly drained. A separate problem in Balbriggan also led to unexpected cuts in the area.
A spokeswoman for the council said it will continue to post details of the disruptions on fingalcoco.ie and it has asked householders, whose supply will be turned off, not to run appliances such as washing machines during the restricted hours.
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said they would continue to determine the need for restrictions on a daily basis.
South Dublin County Council said restrictions will be in place for the foreseeable future.
In the greater Dublin area, Wicklow County Council has also begun to curtail supplies to homes.
The restrictions remained necessary as demand was outstripping supply in the Dublin reservoirs by about two million litres per day. However, the situation had improved. The demand for water had increased last week from 538 million litres on Sunday, November 28th, to 575 last Sunday. Dublin's water treatment plants can produce about 560 million litres per day.
While most main roads are now clear, compacted snow and ice on side roads and pavements will take days to melt, Met Éireann said. Top temperatures will be between 4 and 6 degrees over the eastern half of the country and 7 to 9 degrees further west over the weekend.
Night-time temperatures will still be below freezing in may parts, but dry weather is expected which should help the thaw.
Irish Water Safety has warned of the dangers of frozen ponds and lakes and has urged parents to be particularly vigilant about their children's whereabouts, particularly if they are living near water.
OLIVIA KELLY, Irish Times