As a National Water Conservation Order came into effect this morning, water supplies in a number of areas in Mayo have been highlighted as being under serious risk, according to Irish Water.
The utility company and Mayo County Council are monitoring all supplies across the county on a daily basis and the four most at-risk areas identified are the Lough Mask, Westport, Mulranny and the Ballina Public Water Supply Schemes covering Lacken to Knockmore and Bonniconlon to Crossmolina. Customers on these supplies are urged to conserve water wherever possible.
A spokesperson for Irish Water told the Mayo Advertiser that the emphasis of the conservation order is to educate and change attitudes towards water usage and that a small changes in peoples usage can make a big difference.
The introduction of the conservation order comes on foot of Met Éireann advising that there has been little or no rain over the last 30 days, with an average soil moisture deficit of 60mm meaning that even if it did rain, no water would reach our water sources for at least a week, as it would be absorbed by the ground.
The Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban ) will remain in place until midnight on Tuesday July 31, for domestic users and for non-commercial use by commercial bodies. Irish Water is to keep the situation under review with the possibility of extending the period of time the order is in place.
Prohibited uses listed by Irish Water are as follows, use of water drawn through a hosepipe or similar apparatus for the purpose of watering a garden, cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a domestic hosepipe; cleaning a private leisure boat; filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool (except when using hand held containers filled directly from a tap ); filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds ); filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of such use for commercial purposes ); filling or replenishing an artificial pond, lake or similar application.
The Irish Water Conservation Order (hosepipe ban ) does not apply to private wells or private group water schemes. Working with the National Federation of Group Water Schemes the body are urging all water users to conserve water during this drought period and over the coming months to protect all water supplies.