Leitrim County Council is planning a rolling shut down of water supplies from 2pm today (Monday) in a bid to conserve existing water supplies in the south Leitrim area.
Addressing this morning's Council meeting, Billy Lowe, Senior Engineer, explained that the Carrick-on-Shannon Water Treatment Plant produced most of the water supply for the south of the county.
Unfortunately, increased demand during the recent severe weather event has drained most of the water stocks available.
Part of the problem arose through leaks but people leaving taps running also led to a massive decrease in reservoir levels.
"By last Friday morning the reservoir was down by 10-20%," said Mr Lowe.
The falling levels resulted in an automatic shut down of the Carrick-on-Shannon plant at 4am on Saturday morning. This meant pumping was shut down for 5 to 6 hours, leaving supply struggling to meet demand.
A further shut down occurred at 1am this morning (Monday).
"The reservoirs are now practically empty," said Mr. Lowe.
"The water is going out faster than it can be pumped in," he said.
Mr. Lowe said people in higher areas served by the South Leitrim supply were already experiencing problems.
In a bid to rebuild water stocks, Leitrim County Council is planning a rolling switch off of supply in the south Leitrim area.
Group schemes supplied through the public water supply will be the first affected.
"We'll try and rotate the affected areas," said Mr. Lowe.
"The reality is, if we lose an hour or two of pumping in Carrick-on-Shannon it takes us a week to recover water levels. This will be difficult over the next few days," he said.
The rolling switch off will continue to be evaluated but is expected to continue for the next three nights.
Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Finola Armstrong-McGuire described the situation as "alarming."