Water shortages in Athlone show no sign of abating this week, with overnight water outages continuing in a bid to maintain reservoir levels.
While water levels at Annagh reservoir, which services large areas on the east side of the town, remain at a healthy level, the council continues to switch water supplies off overnight between 11pm and 8am in many areas in a bid to allow reservoirs to replenish their water supplies and prepare for further leakages.
There are fears that there may be new shortages once the thaw sets in, as the extent of water leakages from burst pipes is revealed.
Westmeath County Council’s senior water services engineer, Greg Duggan, said that while reservoir levels are increasing, the overnight outages are still necessary to prepare for the ‘big thaw’.
“Reservoir levels are creeping up. We are trying to get reservoir levels up, so that when the big thaw comes and bursts appear, the system doesn’t crash.
“Reservoir levels in Athlone are good, and Annagh is refilling overnight. However areas supplied by the Annagh reservoir are still being affected by the overnight turn-offs, and it is envisaged that this process will continue for as long as the current cold snap continues.”
The council has set up standpipes in several areas to assist in keeping homes supplied. Water is being provided this week from standpipes at locations in Baylough, Sli-an-Aifrinn, the halting site at Blackberry Lane, Auburn Heights, Coosan, and Woodville.
A list of the areas where standpipes are available is updated daily on www.westmeathcoco.ie Members of the public are asked to report any leaks or burst water mains immediately. Regular updates are posted online at www.westmeathcoco.ie Phones are manned from 9am to 5pm each day and emergency numbers are available after hours by phoning (044 ) 9332000.