Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Water protection measures taken

There are restrictions on tap water in the Dublin area until Tuesday

While some parts of the country deal with snow drifts and ice, authorities in Donegal and Dublin have warned about a lack of rainfall and drinking water.

Officials at Dublin City Council have imposed water rationing in homes every night until Tuesday in a bid to replenish supplies in the reservoirs. In the north-west, fire chiefs have urged caution due to a high risk of gorse and forest fires following sustained dry weather.

"Fires are likely to spread rapidly and get out of control causing unnecessary damage and putting houses, property and possibly life at risk," a county council official said.

In Dublin, there will be reduced supplies in taps from 10pm to 7am or 9am until Tuesday. The continued wintry weather and an issue at the Roundwood water treatment plant combined to put pressure on supplies.

"The reason for the restrictions is two-fold. Water demand is currently running at higher than average due to the unseasonably cold weather which has caused an increase in leakage," the council said.

Officials appealed for anyone with information on leaks to notify repair teams.

"It should be stressed that there is no problem with the quality of treated drinking water or with storage levels of untreated/raw water," the council said. "In an effort to maintain storage at a sustainable level, we are asking consumers to help us in restoring adequate water supplies by restricting their use of water as much as possible."

Donegal council also warned it is an offence to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated between March 1 and August 31 in any year. Gorse, heather and other undergrowth is extremely dry, the county council warned.

The Department of Agriculture had advised forest owners, managers and the public that certain parts of the country are considered high forest fire risk conditions over the Easter weekend and into the future.

A fire weather index forecast produced by Met Eireann warned of the danger despite the cold snap. Forecasters said low rainfall and moderate south-east or east breezes will continue for the coming days and will contribute to high risk conditions in the south-west, west and north-west of the country.

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