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'It’s very, very difficult': Locals frustrated as village left with no water during heatwave

Supply was further impacted due to a burst water main in Drogheda on Monday.

Image: Shutterstock/nikkytok

LOCALS IN CLOGHERHEAD in Co Louth have expressed their frustration after being left without proper running water in the middle of a heatwave.

Supply has been badly impacted in the Drogheda region after a “major burst” occurred on Monday, leaving the surrounding areas without water.

At the time, an Irish Water spokesperson said that repairs were being conducted as quickly and efficiently as possible, to minimise disruption to the community in Drogheda.

However, locals have spoken about how the lack of supply has affected them during the recent warm spell and about how the region is plagued with ongoing water shortages.

Local resident Karen Horgan told The Journal that not only has the village had no water since Sunday morning, but that there’s a “constant issue with supply.”

“We had no water last Thursday or Friday either, and then it came back over the weekend but it went again on Sunday morning,” she said.

“It’s very, very difficult to try to do anything or to plan anything. You don’t know if the water is going to work to even turn on the dishwasher. 

“Even if it is sorted on this occasion, at this stage, it’s more the long-term solution that we really need.”

Irish Water first said the burst water main in Drogheda was the cause of the problem, but later told Horgan that the issue was down to a reservoir interruption that had happened last week.

The company has said that normal supply is due to return to Clogherhead, Termonfeckin and surrounding areas after 6pm today.

But Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham said that despite the expected return of supply to most areas, there has been an ongoing problem with water supply in the village because the network is simply not up to standard.

Speaking to The Journal, he said: “I know many households who have to get up during the night just to do their washing in case they have no water the next day.

“Some households will spend three or four days without water on a consistent basis. It’s not just happening once every two or three months, it could be many weekends in a row.”

There are currently two pipes supplying water to residents in Clogherhead. Low pressure in the system results in no water reaching homes that are often closest to the main supply.

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“The first houses to lose water are actually the closest to the water supply. They’re on a hill, and when the demand is high in the village, there’s not enough water to go into their houses. There’s not enough pressure in the system to push the water up the hill,” Cunningham said.

Aside from the extra water usage throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, high demand is also placed on the supply when there is an influx of visitors to the village, especially when the weather is as hot as it is now.

Cunningham said that funding is needed from Irish Water to upgrade the system, adding that “it’s long overdue”, but that the company doesn’t seem to be taking the problem seriously.

“I’ve been consistently on to Irish Water most weekends, which is very frustrating because you only get back a standard response,” he said.

“I have asked many times for a water tanker to be placed in the village for the weekends, when there is good weather or it’s a bank holiday, so that the residents can go and automatically get water, and to take the pressure off of the well supply.”

For those in the region looking for water, Clogherhead Garda station, local GAA club Dreadnots GFC and the local scouts club are all providing water to residents in the community while work is underway to restore supply.

Irish Water did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

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