Belfast Telegraph

Workers bid to restore water supply

Engineers are working to restore water supply to thousands of homes in Northern Ireland after the thaw caused mains pipes to burst across the province.

In Coalisland, Co Tyrone, an area covering 4,000 properties was affected by a ruptured pipe connected to the Lisnastrane reservoir.

Supply has also been hit in parts of Belfast, Armagh, Newry, Bessbrook, Cullyhanna, Dromore, Keady and Craigavon.

Northern Ireland Water (NIW) has brought in extra staff to deal with unprecedented number of calls - 16,000 in the last week and 9,000 since Christmas Day - although the majority have been about burst pipes inside homes, which are not the responsibility of the water supplier.

"NI Water is dealing with interruptions to water supplies across a number of areas in the province as a result of the ongoing thawing conditions," said a NIW spokesman.

"Since the beginning of December NI Water has received over 34,000 calls and as a result extra call handlers have been brought in to deal with the increased call volume.

"We would like to assure our customers that we are working to resolve all customer issues in a timely manner and we have repaired over 450 bursts to water mains throughout the province to date in December."

The SDLP has called for an emergency meeting of the Stormont Executive to tackle the problems caused by the severe weather conditions while Sinn Fein has urged the Department of Social Development to ensure help is provided to those whose pipes have burst.

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