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The water treatment plant at Ballymore Eustace Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
WATER SHORTAGE

Dublin City Council: We're not sure what the problem is but it's almost fixed

Dublin City Engineer Michael Phillips said climate change could have been one of the reasons behind the problem at the water treatment plant.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has said it is hopeful that the water restrictions for Dublin will be lifted this Thursday.

Speaking this morning, Dublin City Engineer Michael Phillips said that while engineers have found a way to treat the problem, they are still not entirely sure what the problem is or what caused it.

Phillips said that the data will be analysed over the coming weeks to find out what caused the chemical imbalance at the Ballymore Eustace water treatment plant.

“Each river is a slight bit different,” he said. “This polyelectrolite has worked extremely well with us. It has continued working, but it will take us a number of weeks while we go back, gather all the data chemically, and analyse the water in a really detailed manner so to minimise this situation arising again in the future”.

He told RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland that the local authorities should know by Thursday morning if the water levels have returned to full production and have stabilised. If that happens, he said, the Councils will consider lifting the restrictions.

“There’s very few black and white solutions,” he said. “It’s always a combination.”

Phillips also suggested that climate change could possibly have one of the factors which led to the problems at the Ballymore Eustace treatment plant, but said that it could have just been a one-off seasonal issue – “and if that’s the case then we’ll be grateful that that’s what it is,” he said.

Phillips rejected any suggestion of compensation for businesses affected by the water restrictions and said that many residential households had also been affected.

Councillors on Dublin City Council last night unanimously voted in favour of bringing Environment Minister Phil Hogan and executives from Irish Water before it to answer questions about the ongoing water problems.

Dubliners have had to deal with a loss of supply or low pressure for almost one week now, with the restrictions lasting from 8pm at night until at least 7 o’clock in the morning.

The restrictions were originally due to remain in place until yesterday but this was extended until Thursday.

Dublin City Council – which has been giving information on behalf of the four local authorities involved – has said that engineers are working around the clock to identify the cause of the problem and to mitigate the effects.

Read: Dublin City Council passes motion to call Hogan and Irish water before it >

Read: Water restrictions to remain as reservoirs remain “at an unsustainably low level” >

Column: What our water shortages tell Web Summit investors >

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