Ballinasloe and surrounding areas could face a major water shortage in the event of an emergency or a big freeze – because there is not an adequate supply in local reservoirs.
During the recent cold snap and Storm Eleanor there was an unprecedented usage of water in the Ballinasloe area with a rise of 40%.
In turn that meant there were areas left without water for a week – and this has prompted calls for an increased supply to be made available.
The call was made by Cllr Aidan Donohue, Mayor of Ballinasloe, who said that there was ‘an accident waiting to happen’ because of the area’s lack of supply.
And he has now summoned Irish Water to attend a meeting in Ballinasloe to discuss the possibility of improving the supply in the town and surrounding areas in the event of a similar emergency.
While paying tribute to the staff of Galway County Council for their efforts in dealing with the recent snow and frost, he said that the usage of water was up by around 40% during this period.
Cllr Donohue said that a lot of this was down to the fact that a lot of households left taps running to prevent a freeze up. He added that this should also be discouraged.
The Fine Gael councillor is calling for the Ballinasloe Regional Water Scheme plant to be upgraded so that it can supply more water to householders in the event of an emergency.
“There were areas that are served by this scheme that were left without water for more than a week and this is unacceptable. Irish Water needs to look at this situation as a matter or urgency,” he said.
Cllr Michael Connolly (FF) said that the plant in Ballinasloe needed to be upgraded and he also mentioned areas served by the scheme that were left without water for days on end.
According to Cllr Michael Finnerty (FG) there were households leaving taps on for a night. The amount of water they would waste during this period would serve them a whole year.
“I know of a situation in which one house left the tap running and the owners met the water at their front gate. It is ridiculous what is going on,” he said.
Director of Services Jim Cullen said that Irish Water would have no problem in meeting the Ballinasloe councillors to discuss their concerns.
He said that the body was willing to meet all councillors as a group and that he always found it approachable in this regard.
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