Updated: 09/03/18 : 13:12:20
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Water restrictions to continue for 'foreseeable future'

The General Manager of Irish Water has said some water restrictions will continue for the "foreseeable future", following the damage caused by Storm Emma.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Eamon Gallen said that while a huge number of leaks have been repaired in recent days, restrictions remain in place as reservoirs are much lower than they need to be.

He said: "Probably until April, maybe even May, we will still be suffering.

"Leakage at the moment is at 39%, it is years and years of work to get that down to sustainable levels."

He added: "Some areas like Kildare and Fingal have already recovered but we will be looking at this for some time to come."

He said the number of people without water outside of Dublin stands at over 12,750.

Mr Gallen said: "12,000 of those are in Fethard and that is to do with the contamination upstream of the supply that affected the plant."

He said while they are looking at alternative sources to feed into that system for sanitary purposes, it will take until the week beginning 19 March for the plant to be up and running again.

He said there has been a huge community effort and Irish Water is working very hard to get supply back as soon as possible.

He said Irish Water is piping some water that can be consumed but people need to follow local notices.

Elsewhere, Mr Gallen said while its expected some water restrictions around the country will remain in place for a considerable amount of time, most homes will have their notice lifted by next week.

"There are 35,000 people on water restrictions and most of those should be removed by the end of next week, we hope," he said.

"Also all of the boil water notices that were imposed because of the bad weather have been lifted thanks to huge work by the EPA and HSE. All of that side is dealt with," he added.

In Dublin, he said they are making plans to try and have water restrictions lifted for the "big sporting weekend ahead" and for St Patrick’s weekend, particularly around Croke Park, the 3 Arena and the Aviva, and the plan would be to re-introduce restrictions afterwards.

Meanwhile in Sligo, 13,000 residents in the south of the county are still on a water boil notice which came into force on 5th February.

A sampling test scheduled for last Friday was cancelled due to the ice and snow Red Status alert.

The results of a second test is expected to be released today.