herald

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Leaking pipes spark calls for water overhaul

Shortages: Council vows action

WATER pipes that should have been replaced 10 years ago are responsible for crippling water shortages in north Dublin.

Fingal County Council officials have vowed to show the public that they are not "faceless bureaucrats" by committing to overhaul damaged pipes on Dublin's north side, following concerns raised by councillors.

The announcement followed requests by councillors to develop an emergency task force to tackle the failing pipe networks that are leaving some families without water for weeks.

At a meeting last night council officials acknowledged that burst pipes had resulted in "severe water shortages" due to the length of time it is taking reservoirs to refill as a result of "weakened pipe infrastructures".

Officials revealed they had received complaints from families left without water for a number of weeks, particularly those located in the Naul area because water is slow to reach higher ground.

Fingal Council's Director of Water Services Gerry Duane admitted that severe cold weather in the past has damaged water mains, which has "increased the burst frequency of these pipes".

He also admitted there was a serious need to overhaul the pipe system because some of the cement material put in place in the 1960s is still in use, despite them being deemed unsuitable after 30 years.

He said the fact that these pipes were still being used had caused them to become brittle, which is leading to frequent bursts.

Councillors said a single burst pipe could result in an entire housing estate being shut off.

Cllr Peter Coyle (Lab) said water shortage issues were "among the top complaints to councillors".

He said north Dublin families had submitted high numbers of complaints.

Cllr Ciaran Byrne argued that the Government had become complacent in its approach to providing funding to amend the problem, which is affecting thousands of families.

"If water shortages were to happen in Minister Hogan's constituency, I'm sure money would be found to solve the problem," he said.

Council officials identified the Naul area and the Rath Lane area of Rolestown as being the worst affected.

hnews@herald.ie

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