Storm Emma snow causes Laois water reservoir to run dry

Irish Water prevented from restricting supply by snow

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly



Reservoir runs dry in south east Laois.

A water reservoir has run dry in Laois as a result of Storm Emma Irish Water has confirmed.

Irish Water has been concerned about the supply in Laois since Saturday with an area in the south east of the county near the border with Kilkenny. Water restrictions were due to be introduced on Sunday evening but this was not possible.

The  Wolfhill reservoir is an elevated and rural area and that access to it by road was an issue until this morning. It supplies approximately 1,783 customers.

"Customers in Moyo Doonane, Wolfhill and the Swan are impacted by a water outage today as the reservoir suppyling the areas is empty. 

"There was no access to reservoir until today due to the volume of snow in the area. The water restriction that was planned last night did not take place.

"The reservoir was empty this morning and was shut off to allow the water level in the reservoir rise. Customers may have experienced a loss of water since mid-morning today. The reason for the restrictions is that the current water demand in the areas far exceeds the capacity of the water treatment plant. Restrictions will be necessary until the water demand is reduced," said a statement.

Irish Water and its agents Laois County Council said the plan to restore the water supply to all customers by 6am on Tuesday, 6 March.

"Customers should have 24-hour storage in their attic tanks which will facilitate sanitation needs. Customers will  not have lost their water supply until mid-morning today and will have their supply restored quickly after 6am tomorrow morning, a period of less than 24 hours

"When the water supply returns all customers are being asked to continue to conserve water to water pressure to homes and businesses being affected. Irish Water also asks all customers to examine their own internal plumbing to ensure that they have no leaks, and if found to have them repaired as soon as possible.

"Irish Water asks customers in particular to examine drinking troughs to make sure that they are not overflowing or exposed pipe work has been burst," said the utility.

The company urged customers throughout the county to conserve water by not running taps unnecessarily, taking showers instead of baths and to refrain from using dishwashers and washing machines.

Irish Water working in partnership with Laois County Council would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience this is causing.

Once further information is available we will issue another update. Updates will also be posted to the supply and service section of Irish Water’s website at supply-and-service-update/

Irish Water has also said it is in 'real trouble' with its water supply for 1.2 million people in parts of Dublin and surrounding countes of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.