03 January 2011 17:02Less than 10,000 properties will experience a curtailed supply this evening and overnight. This represents a very significant reduction compared to the 40,000 supply restrictions last night. The 10,000 properties to be curtailed tonight will have had access to a mains water supply during the previous twelve hours.
The curtailment of supply is necessary in order to safeguard reservoir levels. Area affected include Lisburn, Portadown/Craigavon, Newry, South Down and Belfast. Locations of properties which will experience an interruption is being made available on the website www.niwater.com
Earlier today the Company confirmed that the figure for those without water had more than halved from 1,000 last night to the present level of less than 300. As efforts continue to return all remaining customers to supply NI Water is proactively contacting customers and has also asked those who still find themselves without water to ring the Waterline number 08457 440088. NI Water crews are also being tasked to offer whatever assistance they can to customers who are presently without water either through difficulties on the network or their own private supply pipes.
Since last Monday NI Water has had around 500 staff on the ground working around the clock to deal with 326 bursts on the network; repairs have taken on average between four and six hours to complete. NI Water crews also isolated 328 bursts on customers’ pipes in order to prevent further wastage from this source.
There remains significant leakage in customers’ pipework resulting in an increased demand for water which has seen NI Water increase its output by up to 250 millions litres per day compared to normal levels, a rise of some 40% on the usual daily output of 600 megalitres.
NI Water would re-iterate its appeal to customers to check their premises for any damage to pipes and repair these as soon as possible. We would also appeal to the public to refrain from using garden hoses and washing cars.
With many schools due to return tomorrow, NI Water is liaising closely with the Department of Education and local Education and Library Boards. We are confident there will be very few, if any, schools affected due to interruptions on the main water supply system. However, many schools have suffered damage to their internal systems and we understand these are currently being located and repaired.
With renewed snow and severe weather forecast, we are once again reminding customers of the need to protect their properties through cold weather to prevent frozen pipes and bursts.
Customers should ensure heating is circulating around properties including vacant buildings, schools and businesses to stop pipes freezing. Ensure pipes are properly lagged and dripping taps fixed; water supplies not required should also be isolated. Property owners are advised to know the location of stop valves and if you have a meter, to check it regularly - a dramatic increase in water usage could be a sign of a leak on the property. Please DO NOT run taps. It causes wastage of water.