Weekend water outage and restrictions causes mass inconvenience

As water outage issues persist in Athlone and its hinterland, local residents and businesses were informed of a further overnight water restriction on Tuesday night of this week to allow levels to recover in the Annagh reservoir.

This follows a water outage at the weekend which predominantly effected residents and businesses on the east side of the town.

The unplanned water supply disruption was necessary following a pollution incident at the raw water intake to the water treatment plant. The plant was shut down to prevent oil contamination of the water treatment processes. The disruption of water production resulted in water levels dropping in the Annagh reservoir which supplies customers on the east side of Athlone and the surrounding rural areas.

The areas affected during the weekend water outage included approximately 5,000 properties in Ballykeeran, Garrycastle, Dublin Road, Athlone Town, Fardrum, Moydrum, Mount Temple, IDA Park, Blyry, Retreat and the surrounding areas.

Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser on Wednesday morning, Robert Fleming, Proprietor of the The Malt House pub, spoke of the complete inconvenience that the weekend water outage caused to his popular business.

“When we opened on Sunday afternoon, I noticed there was no water in our mains system which serves the bar and our toilet facilities. We did remain open as Sunday is usually a particularly busy day for us. I am fortunate to have access to a water tank which enabled me to regularly fill the toilet cisterns and help with the washing of glasses, but having to continuously do that in itself, is an utter frustration and inconvenience,” Robert emphasised.

Robert detailed that fellow business personnel along the town’s main thoroughfare working in the hospitality sector experienced a similar fate during the weekend and has called on the relevant authorities to provide ample notice in advance of further water outages.

“In this situation, no water outage notice was received and it is only after the event that business people and residents find out the reason behind the water outage,” the pub proprietor exasperatingly added.

Irish Water and Westmeath County Council have stated that a necessary night time restriction is put in place to ensure customers have a water supply to their homes and businesses during the daytime. This action is being taken to ensure that there is an adequate quantity of water available to supply industries, schools, residences and commercial activities during business hours.

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