Ballyshannon water - locals 'still furious'

Ballyshannon water - locals 'still furious'

Many Ballyshannon residents are still fuming over receiving no communication from Irish Water during a prolonged spell of water supply problems.

Margaret Cullen, a member of the Cluain Barron Residents' Association, told the Democrat, “I'm speaking for a lot of people in Ballyshannon. We're enraged that we had to wait two weeks before being told what was happening with our water."

When she turned on her shower on Saturday morning, "there was only cold water and low pressure, so I thought it was broken,” she recalled. As it was the weekend, and she had visitors, she bought and installed a new shower, at a cost of €250. "Then, on Sunday morning, the same thing happened again."

Things improved but the next Thursday, when she went to make bottles for her one month old niece, there was no water coming out of the tap. You can't use bottled water to make baby formula so I had to go to Cashelard”, she said.

“I put it up on Facebook to see if anyone else was having problems and lots of people told me similar stories. Everyone said that they had not received any word from Irish Water at all.

“Other people had bought new showers, irons, etc, thinking that the problem must be with the appliances.

“It's just not good enough. People need to know what is happening.”

A spokesperson for Irish Water said three issues caused problems in the area. A “contamination incident” occurred at the intake to the Ballyshannon Water Treatment Plant on Wednesday, February 17 as a result of agricultural activity involving slurry. The contamination was immediately isolated and no contaminated water entered the water supply network. “At no point was there any risk posed to public health,” she added.

Production at the plant was halted and water is currently being brought in from other sources. This is resulting in some water pressure issues in many areas including Creevy, Rossnowlagh and parts of the town. The plant should be back in operation in the next fortnight.

There were also incidents of water outages last Thursday. These were in relation to operational issues and have now been resolved.

Former councillor Mick McMahon called on Irish Water to improve its communications with its customers and the public. “This is a health and safety issue,” he added.