Wicklow homes hit by water restrictions because of algae
TREACY HOGAN – 23 MAY 2013
AS many as 1,000 homes in north Wicklow have been left without water after the worst incident of algae growth on record has again hit householders in the eastern region.
A recent outbreak of the algae left tens of thousands of homes and businesses across Dublin without tap water over Easter. In the latest incidence, homes in north Wicklow have either no water or reduced supplies. The problem steps from the most severe incidence of algae growth on record at the Roundwood water treatment plant.
The plant is operated by Dublin city council supplies tap water to Dublin and north Wicklow.The algae has clogged up the pipes at the plant, leading to a 50pc reduction in treated water, down from 66 million litres daily to just 34.5m litres.Areas currently affected and left with no supply or reduced pressure are Enniskerry, Kilpedder / Willow Grove, Tooman Road, Foxes Meadow, Bellevue Hill, Delgany, Ballinahinch, Newtown, Kilmacanogue and the Glen of the Downes and surrounding areas.
Wicklow county council has provided water tankers at the following locations: entrance to Foxes Meadow, Willow Grove , Bellevue Hill, Delgany, Jameson’s Corner, Kilmacanogue , Enniskerry Demesne, Cookstown Road, Enniskerry , Bog Meadow, Enniskerry , Kilgarron Hill, Enniskerry at Post Office , Rocky Valley Drive, ilmacanogue (at junction with Glencormack) , Tinnepark, Kilpedder.
The council stressed that that any water taken from the tankers at the above locations should be boiled before use.
Dublin City Council said it was applying all the necessary resources to the process of the cleaning of the large sand filters.
“In the meantime, it is likely that production rates at the water treatment plant will remain very low for at least a further two weeks. “
“Accordingly, customers are requested to reduce water consumption in order to conserve overall supplies.”
“It is important to emphasise that there are no water quality or public health issues. “
Wicklow council said it was working closely with Dublin city council in an effort to address the on-going problem and regretted the inconvenience caused to consumers by the disruption to the water supply. Dublin city council also said that a return to more severe restrictions across Dublin cannot be ruled out until Roundwood production is restored to more normal levels.
Normally a city could expect to be able to produce at least 15pc more water than it needs, the council said.
This provides a cushion against any supply interruptions due to planned maintenance or external events.
However, Dublin currently has less than 1pc excess capacity, meaning that any interruption to water supply can have noticeable effects on the city and region.