07 Oct 2022

Portlaoise water levels at lowest point in several years for July

There is an ongoing problem in a housing estate in the village where the tap water smells of petrol

There is an ongoing problem in a housing estate in the village where the tap water smells of petrol

Water levels in wells that serve Portlaoise are at their lowest level in years, compared to the same month in previous years.

Irish Water has confirmed this to the Leinster Express, after being asked why 'Emergency Intervention' has been requested of them by Laois County Council's water staff.

"Water levels in current wells supplying Portlaoise Public Water Supply Scheme are at a lower level than they were on the same date in previous years."

Irish Water said that it is opening a new well in Emo to pipe water to the Laois capital town.

"In order to reduce the risk of water disruptions to customers, Irish Water in partnership with Laois County Council is bringing into production a new well at Coolbangher to provide additional water into the Kilminchy Water Treatment Plant."

They say that water will not be turned off as yet.

"Irish Water is monitoring the situation in Portlaoise on a continual basis. The Portlaoise Public Water Supply Scheme (PWSS) is currently operating as normal and there are no planned disruptions to supply."

Laois County Council reported this June that they have sent a proposal to Irish Water for Emergency Intervention for the Portlaoise public water supply.

"Interim emergency works have been approved by Irish Water and orders have been placed for the supply of materials and the engagement of contractors. It is anticipated that these temporary works will be in place in Q3 (July-September)."

Irish Water said that fixing leaks across Laois has greatly helped to save wasted water.

Back in 2014 when they began to replace old pipes, they estimated that up to half of Laois drinking water was being lost by leaks in the old public watermains systems.

"The situation is being greatly assisted by the success of the Leakage Reduction Programme. To date, Irish Water and Laois County Council have saved over 6 million litres of water daily across Laois, that’s enough water to supply over 46,000 people per day, as a result of leakage reduction and repair works in several towns and villages across the county.

"This has significantly reduced the number of bursts and water outages, resulting in a more reliable water supply for homes and business in Laois."

They again remind customers to conserve water in July and August with staycations expected to add to demand.

"We are reminding all our customers to customers to be mindful of how they use water to help reduce demand for treated water. As the Irish staycation season is set to enter its busiest period over July and August, Irish Water is predicting an increase in domestic and commercial demand for water over the coming months and customers are asked to take some simple measures to conserve water in their homes, their businesses and on their farms.

"However it is important to continue to follow the HSE guidance on hand washing. While handwashing remains a priority, simple water conservation efforts can have a big impact on reducing demand on the supply. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth and shaving can save up to 6 litres of water per minute. Taking a shower instead of a bath or using a watering can rather than a hose when gardening can also make a big difference in water use.

"We are also reminding people with responsibility for properties that are currently unoccupied to check for leaks and turn off water where it is not required. Report any leaks to Irish Water at 1800 278 278. There are lots more tips on how to conserve water in your home on our website at conservation/"

"Irish Water is working at this time, with our local authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of drinking water and wastewater services," the company said.

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