Major water restrictions in place as bad weather affects supplies
A major series of water cut backs is underway as supplies across the county have been seriously affected by the bad weather and susequent thawing leaving many burst pipes.
The demand for water has increased throughout the county seriously impacting on reserves and as a result water supply will be restricted in many areas starting from last night.
Acting Director of Service Housing & Building Services, Liam Ward, says:
"The message about water conservation is asking the public for their help at this time in terms of trying to conserve as much water as possible. If there are burst water pipes or burst mains to report them as soon as people notice them. There is an emergency number there as well to report these things too," Liam stated.
A number of the water restrictions started from yesterday tea-time through until 8am this morning.
The areas affected included, in the Glenties Electoral Area, from 6pm to 8am, are:
The Rosses, Gweedore, Leittermacaward Area, Ardara Area, Gortahork and Falcarragh.
In the Donegal Electoral Area, also from 6:00pm until 8:00am, are: Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Donegal Town,Frosses, Mountcharles, Dunkineely, Killybegs
In the Stranorlar Electoral Area water supplies will be restricted from 8:00pm until 8:00am in the following areas: Convoy, Castlefin, Raphoe, Lifford, Ballinacor, Tievebrack, Gleneely
In Ballybofey and Stranorlar, supply will also be turned off to the Twin Towns from midnight until 8.00am each night
In Inishowen water restrictions are from 10:00pm until 8:00am in Quigley's Point to north of Muff village, Greencastle, Buncrana Town, Carndonagh, Malin Head.
In the Letterkenny area supplies may be restricted in the some areas from 10:00pm until 8:00am depending on progress made yesterday.
Liam said the situation will be monitored on a daily basis and no time has been fixed for the lifting of the restrictions but a further up date should be due today.
The Water Conservation Appeal states: "Donegal County Council are recording significant increases in demand on a number of water supplies throughout the county during the current cold weather conditions - particularly during the thaw period. We suspect the increased demand for water arises from taps left running, burst mains which have not yet been located, leakage in private properties".
They also appeal to farmers, business owners and caravan owners to check for water leaks.
The number to call is 074 91 72399.
In other developments heating problems and burst water pipes are keeping Donegal plumbers busy.
Norma McConnell said her husband, plumber Freddy McConnell of Raphoe, was at an elderly man's home yesterday who had no heat since Christmas.
"It's been a tight one now," Norma said. She said his nephew, also a plumber, has his phone ringing constantly as well.
Norma said that her husband has been able to talk some people through certain questions -- "They're asking, ‘Can I put on the fire? Can I keep the heat on?'" she said. "He's giving the advice he can give over the phone." She said a few people were without water and heat her husband addressed as many of those calls as he could before Christmas.
"It will be busy now for a while," she said.
Kathleen Boyce takes phone messages for her husband, Dunfanaghy plumber Tony Boyce. Most calls are for burst pipes, she said.
"He was out on Christmas day as well," Kathleen said. "He's been out every day." She said Tony had answered calls from as far away as Gort a' Choirce, Termon and Carrigart.
"He expects to be busy for a long time to come, when the thaw really kicks in," she said. "It's nice to be able to help people, too."
"We're all fairly busy right now," said Jim McFadden of JMF Plumbing and Heating in Termon. He said he received calls throughout the Christmas weekend, including one at about twenty minutes to 1 am on Christmas Eve. But he said some issues will not be resolved until the thaw "really sets. In a lot of cases you wait for the thaw to actually happen and you see the problems then," he said.
At the same time, Jim said that people had learned from the experiences of last winter and were taking steps they could, such keeping a premises heated. "Last year was more a shock than this," he said.