Uisce Éireann Urging Westmeath Households To Conserve Water

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It follows reports of supply disruptions in the county this morning.

Uisce Éireann is urging households in Westmeath to conserve water to reduce the risk of outages.

Crews were investigating reports of supply disruptions affecting Mullingar this morning.

Two major bursts in the areas impacted reservoir levels - both have now been fixed and are refilling.

Uisce Éireann says it's struggling to meeting the high demand in the county.

The organisation is advising people high usage can lead to pressure reductions which can impact the supply to customers.

Supplies across the county are vulnerable to high demand during the summer time. 

Uisce Éireann’s Regional Asset Operations Lead, Ronan Walsh, says:

“We are appealing to customers to conserve water to give the reservoirs time to replenish. We have had a very dry period and with the warmer weather currently being experienced and more forecasted, supplies will come under further pressure. Any reduction that customers can make in their usage can collectively result in significant supply improvements for all customers. I would ask that everyone in Westmeath play their part to help conserve water this summer. 

While we enjoy the sunshine it is important that we all consider our water usage and look at simple yet impactful ways to conserve water. It can sometimes be difficult to know where to start, but even small changes can make a significant difference. By turning off the hose and avoiding power washing we can all help ensure there is enough water for everyone as we go through the summer.”

Uisce Éireann has published these tips to help conserve water:

At  Home:

  • Take a shorter shower
  • Fix dripping taps or leaking toilets in your home 
  • When brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off the tap and save up to 6 litres of water per minute 
  • Minimise the amount of water used in paddling pools
  • If you need to wash your car, use a bucket and sponge instead of a hose
  • Report any external leaks to Uisce Éireann at 1800 278 278. No leak fixes itself and every leak gets progressively worse. The escaping water can weaken the ground or cause slippery footpaths and roads. The leaking water reduces the supply pressure for adjacent properties. What looks like a small leak at the surface can be using the equivalent to 20-30 households.

In the garden:

  • Save and reuse water collected from baths, showers, and hand basins in the garden
  • In the garden use a rose head watering can instead of a hose and aim for the roots
  • Consider installing a water butt to collect rainwater – this can then be used for watering the garden during dry weather
  • Do your watering in the evening, when it won’t evaporate
  • Pots and containers need lots of water to prevent drying out, so plant directly into the ground as much as possible
  • Another good tip is to add a layer of plant material, like bark, to your flower bed to prevent evaporation and reduce the need for watering

On the Farm

  • Fix troughs – Watch out for overflowing drinking troughs as they can waste significant amounts of water. Adjust the ball valves to lower the float or replace faulty parts. 
  • Dry cleaning: Save water when cleaning the yard by using dry-cleaning techniques. Use scrapers and brushes to remove solid waste from yards and pens before hosing. You can also use a small amount of water (e.g. one bucket) to pre-soak waste before cleaning.
  • Clean plate cooler water: If you own a dairy farm, you can divert clean plate cooler water to a tank and use it for parlour washing
  • Consider Rainwater Harvesting - rain from the roofs of farm buildings can be used for a variety of activities such as washing down yards. Consider the level of rainwater quality required for specific water uses on the farm (e.g., plant nurseries and field irrigation) and the surfaces and contamination risks before you consider installing appropriate rain water harvesting, treatment (filtration and UV) and storage systems.
  • Take action to protect water sources: Avoid contamination of surface waters by reducing or eliminating access to livestock by fencing off watercourses. Pollution containing animal faeces can affect the water environment, nutrients and soil. Destroyed bankside vegetation can also contribute to flooding. 
  • There are lots more water saving tips for farmers on our website at https://www.water.ie/conservation/business/take-action/agriculture/ 
  • Uisce Éireann, as one of the leading water utilities in this space, has a first-of-its-kind dedicated water stewardship programme where we work with businesses to help them understand and reduce their water use. Find out more at water.ie/businessconserve with advice for a range of industries including hospitality, manufacturing, agriculture and small businesses. 


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