Hosepipe ban to remain in place for September
Irish Water has extended the Water Conservation Order in Wexford until Sunday, September 30.
The county is one of 16 where the order brought about by this summer's drought has been extended. A spokesperson for Irish Water said it's appealing to customers to continue to conserve water as raw water supplies in rivers, lakes and ground water sources remain lower than normal.
While conservation efforts to-date have helped the situation further measures are necessary to bring supplies back to normal.
The Irish Water Board met on Tuesday to assess the need to extend the Water Conservation Orders which were due to end last Friday and the decision was made to extend them in certain areas following presentations from engineering experts within Irish Water and local authorities.
Commenting on the extension of the orders Irish Water's General Manager Eamon Gallen said the drought highlighted the vulnerability of many of the country's water supplies.
'Irish Water engineers and hydrological experts are working with experts from the EPA, OPW, ESB, local authorities and other agencies to monitor river flows and lake levels,' he said.
'We continue to liaise with Inland Fisheries Ireland regarding impacts of abstractions from rivers and lakes, and wastewater discharges on fish life,' he added.
He said a key element of the National Water Resources Plan, which will be finalised in the coming months, will be to develop 'much greater resilience in supplies' and minimise the impact of severe weather extremes.
The Water Conservation Order prohibits use of water drawn through a hosepipe or similar for a number of specific uses including: watering a garden; cleaning a private motor-vehicle; 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) using a hosepipe; filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of such use for commercial purposes) and use of water for filling or replenishing an artificial pond (excluding fish ponds), lake or similar application.
While there was rainfall in August many areas of the country including County Wexford didn't experience enough to warrant an easing of the ban.
Mr Gallen said demand is also expected to increase over the coming weeks as schools and colleges re-open.
'At this stage, the majority of local authorities are working with leakage contractors to deliver substantial savings,' he said.
'This prolonged drought has brought an increased awareness of the value of having an adequate continuous water service for homes and businesses.'