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Irish Water Under Fire For Communication Breakdown With Laois Councillors

Portlaoise has been affected by water restrictions in the last month.

Irish Water is coming under fire for a breakdown in communication with councillors in Laois.

Portlaoise has been affected by water restrictions in the last month, with reservoir levels particularly low during the heatwave.

Sinn Féin's Caroline Dwane Stanley says around 1,000 residents along the Mountmellick Road were left without supply for up to 14 hours for several days in a row - after Irish Water shut off supply early than expected.

She says local reps need to be kept in the loop, so they can spread the word on the ground:

Irish Water has made the following statement to Midlands 103 in response to Cllr. Dwane Stanley's comments:

Irish Water working with Laois County Council placed a number of night-time restrictions on Portlaoise, including the Mountmellick Road area, starting the night of Sunday 18 July between 10:00pm and 6:00am daily as demand for treated water was exceeding supply and to help maintain a sufficient supply during normal working hours.

The restrictions were necessary due to a combination of higher than normal demand for water due to recent hot temperatures and declining reservoir levels as demand is currently higher than production capacity. These night-time restrictions were required to allow treated reservoir levels to restore each night to ensure a continuous daily water supply was available for residents and businesses for hygiene and other essential purposes but water levels in the reservoirs were not rising sufficiently by the morning of Wednesday 21 July. Following procedures, Laois County Council made the necessary decision to extend the restricted hours from 8:00pm to 7:00am in order to reduce demand further.

Communications were issued by Irish Water in accordance with the requirements set by Commission of Regulation of Utilities (CRU). A press release was sent to all local media outlets and elected reps and the Water Supply Updates Portal on the Irish Water website was updated under the reference LAO00035704 which outlined the dates, the times and the areas affected. Information was also shared via customer care social media channels. Customers are advised to keep an eye on the Irish Water website’s Supply and Service section for updates on their local water supplies. The website now has a new location feature which allows customers in Portlaoise to immediately see what works and projects are ongoing in their locality by setting their location at www.water.ie

Irish Water and Laois County Council continues to monitor this supply to ensure supply meets demand. Safe, clean, treated water is not in unlimited supply and we all have to play a part in conserving it for essential use. For tips and information on how to conserve water in the home, in businesses and on farms check out www.water.ie/conservation. Irish Water continues to encourage the public to report leaks they see in public places by calling the Irish Water customer care helpline which is open 24/7 on 1850 278 278 or you can contact us through Twitter @IWCare.

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