Snow has already blanketed Laois this January and more wintry weather is on the way
Irish Water, Laois County Council and all local authorities are asking homes and businesses to check for leaks and to conserve water where possible whilst adhering to public health advice on hand washing and hygiene regarding Covid-19.
The agencies are asking people to do this to protect the water supply in advance of expected freezing temperatures and snow expected in the coming days.
They say that in January, following freezing temperatures and the subsequent thaw the public water network experienced a higher than normal volume of bursts.
Irish Water in partnership with Local Authorities carried out hundreds of leak and burst repairs arising from the cold snap.
Speaking about the forecasted freezing weather, Tom Cuddy, Head of Operations, Irish Water.
“As we face another spell of sub-zero temperatures over the weekend and into next week we are appealing to homes, businesses and those responsible for unoccupied buildings to check for leaks whilst adhering to current public health regulations and advice, and to turn off water where it’s not needed.
"We are also appealing to customers to check outside pipes in particular that can become frozen and burst during periods of cold weather and report leaks they see on the public network to us.
"Small efforts by everyone to conserve water wherever possible make a big difference overall and we would ask the public to only use what they need whilst continuing to adhere to public health advice on hand washing and hygiene regarding COVID-19.
"Simple advice on conservation includes for example taking showers over baths and fixing dripping taps where it is possible to do so
"We are also reminding people with responsibility for properties that are currently unoccupied to check for leaks, whilst adhering to public health regulations and advice and turn off water where it is not required," he said.
Irish Water says there are lots more tips on how to conserve water in your home, business or school on our website at https://www.water.ie/
Irish Water says it is important to check for and repair leaks on your premises, especially during the cold, winter months.
It says business owners should be mindful of the risk of frozen pipes and possible bursts if a building is left unoccupied and unheated during a spell of very cold weather.
If a commercial premises is unoccupied due to Covid-19 restrictions while there is a spell of cold weather, Irish Water warns that there is an increased risk of frozen pipes and consequent damage. Business owners should regularly inspect properties for leaks during a period of closures, whilst adhering to the public health regulations and advice.
Find out more about how to prepare for cold weather on our Winter Proofing page https://www.water.ie/support/
Dealing with frozen or burst pipes
Find out more about how to deal with frozen and burst pipes https://www.water.ie/support/
Tips to help you conserve water
• Leak free: Check that your home is leak free. Check for running overflows and fix any dripping taps, cisterns or pipes
• Don’t let the tap run: Brushing your teeth with the tap running can use up to a staggering 6 litres per minute. Brushing your teeth with the tap off will use a more modest 1 litre of water
• Shower vs. Bath: The average bath uses 80 litres of water compared to an average shower using 49 litres in seven minutes. Switch your bath to a shower for a massive water saving
• Less time: With the average shower using 7 litres of water per minute by turning your five minute shower into four minutes, you could save up to 7 litres of water per day!
• Fully loaded: Always ensure your dishwasher and washing machines are fully loaded. A modern washing machine uses approximately 65 litres of water per cycle while a dishwasher uses 20 litres. By ensuring they are fully loaded, not only will you conserve water but you will also reduce your energy bills
• Don’t flush it all away: A third of all water used in the home is flushed down the toilet. Some larger cisterns can continue to work effectively with a smaller flush. Place a displacement device into the cistern (out of the way of moving parts) to save water