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Update on Kilkeel interruption

04 February 2011 16:51

NI Water have described some comments in relation to their handling of the recent incident in Kilkeel as inaccurate and misinformed.

We fully appreciate that the disruption to water supplies in the Kilkeel area was a difficult time for a large number of our customers and would wish to apologise for the inconvenience that they suffered and thank them for their patience. We are glad to say that the incident has been largely resolved with crews working on the site continuously over a 36 hour period.

NI Water can confirm that supply has been restored to most customers in the Kilkeel area, with approximately 50 remaining out of supply. NI Water staff are currently on the ground helping those remaining homes who are still without supply.

Areas which remain affected are: Ballyveaghmore Road, Longstone Road, sections of Old Town Road and Scrogg Road. Any customer still experiencing difficulties with their water supply outside these affected areas should contact Waterline on 08457 440088.

We are now in a position to withdraw the alternative water supplies and would like to thank those organisations who made their sites available for our use.

It is normal after an interruption to supply that water may appear discoloured when it comes back on. Customers are advised to run the tap for a short while until the water runs clear.

NI Water would like to take this opportunity to express its disappointment with regards the inaccuracies mentioned in a Press Statement which was released earlier today. NI Water strongly refutes these inaccuracies.

This was a complex and difficult incident and during its course NI Water at all times kept customers updated on a constantly developing situation and it is completely inaccurate to say that there was a total reliance on the website. Our call centre was the primary means of providing customers with updates on the incident. Although the website was used extensively during the incident and was regularly updated it was just one of a number of channels which provided regular updates. NI Water can also confirm it communicated directly with local MLAs, councillors, vulnerable customers and various other bodies.

NI Water’s website was in fact updated on five occasions on Thursday and seven so far today. NI Water proactively highlighted our Waterline number and website through all media outlets.

Both yesterday and today NI Water proactively issued Press Statements to the media and key stakeholders, including CCNI. These statements and updates obtained widespread media coverage.

NI Water contacted all Customers on our Critical Care Register as well as Nursing Homes and Sheltered Housing developments within the affected area – any customers with medical conditions were advised to consult their GP/Hospital. Alternative water supplies were offered to any customers who required them.

NI Water monitored the call volumes throughout the day and provided additional call handlers last evening/early this morning to deal with any increased calls. A recorded message on our Waterline number provided customers with information on areas affected and sources of alternative supplies.

NI Water would like to thank the media for providing the regular updates to the public throughout the course of the incident.

Customers can contact Waterline on 08457 440088 for further information on this situation.

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