Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has asked Louth County Council officials if there will be enough water in Drogheda to serve the forthcoming Fleadh. The reply is got has caused him concern.
Cllr Flood said “given the recent drought conditions I asked if our local reservoirs were full enough to meet the projected needs for 400 thousand visitors. I was informed that that the situation was being monitored and further restrictions would be put in place if needed. I feel there needs to be a bit more clarity around that.”
A further concern that Councillor Flood raised was the water main at Staleen Water Treatment Plant. Cllr Flood said “I asked if a contingency plan or a Plan B is in place in case of a repeat of the main bursting again as it did recently and more infamously, last year when we were without water for over a week. Again the answer was there was a plan in place that included distributing bottles of water and they were confident they could repair any burst quickly. Considering the fact we have had two bursts on the same pipe in the same place in less than 12 months I’m afraid I do not share their confidence.”
Cllr Flood said he was hoping for a more concrete answer. “I wanted reassurances that there were advance preparations in place for a disaster that may well happen. I expected to hear that there will at least be tankers on standby to supply the venues and hotels, our 400 thousand visitors and the residents of Drogheda who will be hosting the biggest event in our town’s history.”
Cllr Flood quipped “If this drought continues we may need to add a rain dance to The Fleadh’s Dance Competition.”
Councillor Kenneth Flood has called on Irish Water to begin work on the water mains on the North Quay in Drogheda immediately. This area has seen an unusually large number of bursts in previous months.
Speaking today, Councillor Flood said “Irish Water released funding in July this year to lay 287m of water main from the junction of Shop Street to the junction of Constitution Hill. This area has had more than its fair share of bursts and businesses in the area are disrupted and some have to close every time it happens. The replacement water main was due to be done in October 2014 but it didn’t happen.”
Councillor Flood has been in contact with Irish Water on the issue. “They told me it was at the ‘detailed design stage’ and work was due to begin in February 2015. I am calling for this work to begin immediately. We have been waiting since July. There will inevitable be further outages or disruption to supply until this is resolved once and for all.”
Councillor Flood did however welcome the assurance from Irish Water that they would improve their communication with residents during any further outages. Flood has been very critical in the past at the lack of information from Irish Water and Louth County Council.
Cllr Flood said “they have agreed to undertake a comprehensive media campaign to inform customers of the
logistical arrangements and provide status updates on repairs and restoration times via the Louth County Council web site, social media and local radio. I will be in contact with them again to ensure that these essential
services and vital updates are available not just during office hours.”
Councillor Flood also welcomed the news that Irish Water have agreed to provide water tankers to affected areas in the future.
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has again hit out at the lack of information available following a further water outage in Drogheda over the weekend.
Flood said “On Friday the watermain on the North Quay burst yet again. Although the burst happened in the early hours of Friday Morning, apart from turning off the water, work did not start on correcting the problem until after 9am. The first notice from the council was emailed at 9:06am but at that stage the whole Northern Environs of Drogheda knew they were without water.”
Councillor Flood has been asking for an improved response from the Council and is dissatisfied with the level of response. “I called the out of hours council service and requested that stand-pipes and drinkable water be made available in the affected areas. Despite asking for a call back, my calls were not returned.”
In frustration Kenneth Flood took to Twitter to notify the local media outlets so they could inform people what was happening. Louth County Council and Irish Water have not updated their websites since Friday morning. Flood said “when I phoned them at various times asking for updates, they simply said ‘we’re working on the problem’ and then all updates ceased after hours.”
When water services were restored in late afternoon the water was thick with lime and sediment, making it unusable. On Saturday morning, the same watermains burst again.
The Sinn Féin councillor phoned Irish Water to inform them of the burst main and asked that they post updates on their website and to call him back with information on when services can be resumed. An outraged Flood said “their response was unbelievable. They told me as it was the weekend there would be no updates or information available. This is a completely unacceptable situation. People want to know what is happening and the company tasked with providing a service is only operating during office hours. Again people were left without water for most of the day and when it returned it was like alka-seltzer coming out of the taps.”
“Once again the people of Drogheda have had 2 days without water and Irish Water and LCCs response to the 7th water outage in this area this year has been the same as the first. We have citizens with young babies who can’t even make bottles for them. The children were sent home from the Aston Village Educate Together National School because there was no water. Businesses are affected and Irish Water doesn’t seem to care. This is unacceptable. The service is lackluster and it proves they are unable to provide for the People of Drogheda.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Kenneth Flood has hit out at the lack of communication from Irish Water to thousands of residents who found themselves without water on Monday.
Flood said “After talking to residents I learned this can happen on average four times a year. The problem appears to be the watermain on the North Quay in Drogheda. When it bursts thousands of residents are affected from Greenhills, Termonfeckin Road, Newtownstalaban, Queensborough and Beaulieu. Several residents are also reporting air-locks in their water systems which will require a plumber to fix them, at considerable expense to themselves.”
An Angry Kenneth Flood continued “what I don’t understand is why it keeps happening. What quality of parts are they replacing it with? A patch up job is a false economy, people deserve better than this.”
The Sinn Féin Councillor also questioned the lack of information available. “There was no notice on the Council website until well into the day and there was no notice on the Irish Water website at all that there would be any disruption. When you get up on a Monday morning the last thing on your mind is ‘I must check the website to see if there will be enough water for the day’. This is 21st Century Ireland and there must be better communication with households who are having water charges forced on them by Irish Water. This is poor service and simply isn’t good enough.”