08 Aug 2022

2,000 people without water in Offaly in the wake of Hurricane Ophelia

Irish Water provides an update

2,000 people without water in Offaly in the wake of Hurricane Ophelia

2,000 people without water in Offaly in the wake of Hurricane Ophelia

Irish Water working to restore water and secure supply for around 2,000 Offaly customers in the wake of Storm Ophelia.

The largest disruption to service here is a power outage at the Glasshouse Water Treatment that supplies Brosna and parts of Shinrone.

The water supply to 1,650 customers is affected as a result. "We are liaising with the ESB to restore the power supply as soon as possible in order to restore the water supply for customers," Irish Water have told us.

Separately, ten houses remain without water in Shinrone Village who are supplied from the Shinrone water treatment plant. The reservoir is currently refilling following an earlier disruption due to a power outage at the plant. Water will be restored to these 10 customers once the reservoir level has been fully restored.

Similarly in Mountbolous, ten houses are estimated to be without water. As the reservoir level rises, water will restore to all customers.

Elsewhere, approximately 300 customers in the Hillview housing estate in Rhode remain without water as there is no power supply to the pressure boosting station. Irish Water are liaising with the ESB to restore the power supply as soon as is possible.

The Irish Water Crisis Management Team was mobilised over the weekend and has overseen the impact of the storm on water and wastewater centres from the National Operations centre in Dublin along with the Operations teams in each of the three regions.

The principal impacts were loss of power to treatment plants and pumping stations, while pipeline bursts which couldn’t be repaired until conditions were safe for crews and direct damage to facilities.

Irish Water are currently working with the ESB and the local authority staff to restore water and secure supply for customers around the country.

At the moment Irish Water estimate that there are, 69,000 customers with no supply (down from 109,000 at the peak) across the country.

Where customers were reliant on water storage this number has decreased by 260,000 to just over 100,000  and their full supply has been restored.

Counties worst affected by the outages are Cork and Waterford.

"During the night, ESB Networks has been working on several of these schemes and we are confident that these numbers will be significantly reduced in the coming hours. In many other schemes, generators are maintaining power supply pending full restoration of mains service," Irish Water stated.

To meet the demands of those plants without power, working with the local authorities, Irish Water put 16 generators in place at drinking water plants. This has restored supplies to 78,000 people in the most impacted areas of the south of the country.

"We have a further 23 generators on route to assist to restore supplies to 64,000 in the most impacted areas, particularly around the south of the country," they said.

Irish Water is currently co-ordinating up to 30 water tankers to the affected areas and are working with local authorities to ensure we have more if we need them.

"We also have a number of wastewater treatment plants and a significant number of sewage pumping stations where power failure is resulting in discharge of untreated or partially treated wastewater to receiving waters. As with drinking water, the number of installations affected are being reduced as power supplies are restored."

"We currently estimate that approximately 30 wastewater treatment plants are without power nationally.  Our focus now is to get these plants fully operational as soon as possible."

"We will be providing information to communities affected and contacting vulnerable customers who need support," they added.

Irish Water has thanked ESB Networks for all their assistance during this storm event and where possible prioritising the restoration of power supplies to the water and wastewater treatment plants.

Irish Water is grateful for the commitment of its staff and those of the local authorities who are working to address the issues arising from the storm as quickly as possible. "We are also grateful for the patience and forbearance of our customers during this event."

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