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Dublin: 1°C Monday 17 January 2022

Burst pipeline in Drogheda and Meath repaired but water shortages continue

Households in affected areas have been asked to conserve water.

Image: Shutterstock/femme

Updated at 7.35pm

IRISH WATER HAS said the burst pipeline affecting supply to Drogheda and East Meath has been repaired, but that a water outage could continue for up to 48 hours in some areas.

Households in Drogheda and east Meath have been asked to conserve water after the pipeline, which serves the Staleen Water Treatment Plant burst.

Water supply is currently being prioritised to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, schools, nursing homes, crèches and other vulnerable customers.

The burst pipe is close to the location of another significant burst which occurred last year and greatly affected the supply in the same area.

Repair crews were on site throughout the night to excavate the area and locate the burst. Work on the repair got underway this morning and the repair was completed early this afternoon.

Water shortages

Irish Water said that the treated drinking water reservoir for the area has enough water to maintain supply to customers for the time being.

The utility said it has contacted vulnerable customers in Louth and East Meath, and that Irish Water and Louth and Meath County Councils are coordinating efforts to ensure bottled water is delivered to them today.

A water outage is impacting some customers in Ratoath, Kilbride and Duleek, and Irish Water said it could be between 36 and 48 hours before full service is restored for all customers, in particular to properties on higher ground and at the edge of the network.

Alternative water supplies have been made available and water tankers are now located in Ashbourne, Ratoath, Duleek and Kilbride.

Conserve water

Irish Water is asking all customers in the affected areas to conserve water.

“We are asking all customers to conserve water until we can confirm a timeline for resumption of a normal water supply,” the utility said.

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Irish Water said that it was confident that the repair will be achieved in a shorter timeframe than the last time.

It said that it had mobilised the full crisis management team so that contingency measures would be in place to respond to whatever circumstances arise.

“Irish Water has approved the budget and design for a new pipeline to replace the existing lines,” the utility said.

We are in the final stages of resolving all of the contractual issues to begin mobilisation of construction of this pipeline within weeks.

Last year, a substantial portion of the north-east of the country was left with a dramatically reduced water supply, or none at all, after a 50-year-old main burst in Donore, Co Meath, not far from Drogheda.

Over 70,000 people in the area were left without water for nearly a week following the collapse of the Donore main.

With reporting from Adam Daly and Hayley Halpin. 

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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