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Dublin: 10°C Friday 30 October 2020

'It's a nuisance': Thousands of homes and businesses in Kerry are still without water

Irish Water hopes to restore services throughout the day in Listowel.

Image: Shutterstock/Lipskiy

THOUSANDS OF HOMES and businesses in Kerry are without water this afternoon, as Irish Water continues to work towards restoring services in Listowel.

A pump failure has left residents and business owners without water since around midday yesterday, but the company said it aims to slowly restore services to areas over the course of today.

The water outage has had an impact on the local businesses in Listowel, leaving some local pubs in difficulties.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, manager of Joe Broderick’s Pub in Listowel said:

Of course it’s difficult when you have no water, we can’t even serve a glass of water. There’s no water for the toilets.

“I kept the pub open last night, but if [the shortages] kept up another few days [or] if it happened next week, Listowel Races are happening and I’d say we’d have to close.

“It’d be a big deal. It was only a pump that broke down so we couldn’t prepare for this. This week is a quiet week for us anyway because next week will be a busy week.”

Margaret Attridge, operations manager at Irish Water, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that “for most of yesterday, from midday onwards, there were approximately 4,000 people affected in Listowel”.

The pump failure had the potential to affect more areas of north Kerry, according to Attridge.

She said: “We managed to mobilise tankers quite quickly to fill reservoirs on the network to maintain supply to areas like Ballybunion, Tarbert and areas of north Kerry.

The water outage was retained to the town areas of Listowel and the more rural areas around [it]. We did actually manage the network so we could keep supply to the hospitals and nursing homes in and around Listowel which is obviously a big relief to the people in those facilities.

A staff member of the Horseshoe Bar & Restaurant has said that while the water outage has impacted their business, it hasn’t been drastic due to the help they have received from the local fire brigade.

“The fire brigade has been very good to us, they’ve been very helpful. They’re filling out tanks, they’re filling out water for the toilets, they’re very, very good to be honest,” the staff member said.

It’s just awkward because we have to keep an eye on the tanks. We’ve had to turn off all our machines, it’s a nuisance in fairness.

“The fire brigade has really ridden in behind us and we wouldn’t have managed without them, we probably would have had to close our business because we’d have no water for flushing toilets or washing up. In our lines of business, in restaurants, we use a lot of hot water.”

So many customers are affected due to the size of the pump, which was required to pump water from the River Feale to the reservoir six and a half kilometres away.

The pump was repaired by contractors in Mallow and returned to the site of the Listowel water treatment plant where it was back in operation in the early hours this morning, Attridge said.

She said it will take some time for the reservoir to refill to the proper level to allow the water to be turned back on.

“We will continue to have our tankers in place around Tralee for people to come and collect water from. We will continue to distribute bottled water,” she said.

We are hoping that slowly over the day, we can start opening up valves and releasing water to different areas of the network.
With reporting by Sean Murray

Read: Families forced to leave homes after burst pipe causes flooding, sinkhole

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