Longford County Council has urged people to conserve water in the coming days as attempts are made to build up water supplies in local reservoirs. Water shortages have taken their toll right across the county as some households face into their second week without a full water supply.
While most areas have been affected, Longford town has borne the brunt of the shortages as supplies at the Knockahaw Reservoir are at all time low.
According to Gerry Gillen of Longford County Council, about 100 cubic metres of water per hour was being pumped into the reservoir yesterday, Wednesday. However on the same day, water was leaving the reservoir at a rate of 250 cubic meters per hour. Mr Gillen explained that this was simply unsustainable and that as a result, the Co Council had been forced to cut water supplies from 8am until 8pm.
In recent days, a number of irate callers have contacted the Longford Leader office to complain about the fact that car washes in the town were operational at a time when many houses in the town had no water. Mr Gillen said the council was urging everyone to conserve water.
"We're not happy that they are doing it," he said, referring to the car washes. "But they are rate payers and they are paying for their water."
He conceded that "it doesn't look like the right thing to be going out and washing cars at this time" but went on to say that there was very little the Council could do about the issue.
In relation to houses where the water supply had been frozen, Mr Gillen said: "Pipes that were the last to freeze will be the last to thaw."
He explained that the council had eight repair teams working around the county to fix repairs.
" We have everybody we can possibly out working on this at the minute. We have guys detecting the leaks, and guys fixing the leaks."
He agreed that the water crisis was putting a huge strain on council staff who have been inundated with calls.
"They are working in areas and every couple of minutes the phone is ringing and people are telling them about a new problem so we are having to prioritise," he said.
The Co Council also had staff working on the phone lines on Christmas Eve, Bank Holiday Monday and Tuesday to deal with calls from members of the public.