Criticism

More notice needed for planned water outages

Irish Water

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More notice needed for planned water outages

The notice for ‘Planned Water Outages” is not sufficient for businesses according to Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, Cllr Finola Armstrong-McGuire.

With “Water Outages” becoming a frequent and almost weekly event in the county, Carrick Municipal Distric councillor and businesswoman Finola Armstrong-McGuire said she wants "Leitrim County Council to engage with Irish Water on behalf of the ratepayers of the county in regard to 'Planned Water Outages' in towns and villages."

She said, “During the past month there was a 'planned outage' in Carrick which was relayed through social media. Such notice is not sufficient. Communication must be more formal as business must put a plan in place if water is restricted.

"The cost today of a water outage is much greater than heretofore. Every business involves customer service and Irish water must provide a service to the standard that its customers deserve."

She informed council members last week that coffee shops, restaurants and hotels have machines plugged directly into the mains and the loss of water can severely damage expensive machines.

She asked why works cannot be carried out from 9pm to 1am or 6am - 10am instead of at peak business time from 11am to 2pm.

Leitrim County Council replied, "The outage referred to was a planned outage, to facilitate a new large diameter connection. Water Services staff notified Irish Water and also contacted the bigger users by phone 3 days in advance and advertised it on social media. A number of local radio slots were given also.

"Irish Water are currently developing a policy around the whole issue of dealing with outages and Leitrim County Council will engage in that process. In the meantime we will seek to give adequate notice to all consumers.”

The council also stated they could not work at night due to health and safety.

Last week Drumsna and Eslinbridge had planned water outages and the week before Kinlough and Fivemilebourne were without water while essential works were completed.