Interruption to Supply - Castlereagh Road area - Update.
14 August 2015 16:26
NI Water operatives were in attendance at the scene from mid-afternoon on Thursday as a result of a report of a run of water which was received in the evening of the previous day. Investigations revealed that this was caused by a burst to a 30 inch water trunk main. In order to minimise disruption to customers and the travelling public, a repair to the main was scheduled to be undertaken between 1am and 6am on Friday morning.
At no time prior to the repair being undertaken were any customer supplies interrupted.
A major planned shutdown and rezoning was carried out between 1am and 6am on 14 August to undertake the burst main repair.
We extended this work by two hours until 8am on 14 August due to difficulties encountered in draining the trunk main (the main needs to be empty of water in order to facilitate repair).
A repair was completed and the main recharged, and customer supplies restored by 8am. However, immeditaely after the repair, we recognise that some customers may have experienced lower pressure as the system returned to normal.
During the course of this incident, there were 10 NI Water staff and 6 contractor staff on site. NI Water has circa 100 staff available on a 24/7 basis via operational on-call structures; there are also mechanisms in place whereby this number can be ramped up very quickly if required.
Please note that the level of staffing in relation to this incident was not an issue.
When a water distribution system drains down, it takes time for the system to charge fiollowing the restoration of supply, and having additional staff on the ground would not quicken this process . Therefore, resources were not an issue on this occasion and further resources could have been deployed had they been required.
There was no requirement to increase staff numbers on the ground overnight; the number of in-house and contract staff on site last night was sufficient to deal with this incident. Resources overnight were sufficient to undertake valving operations and the repair of the trunk main.
No customers were out of supply while preparatory investigation work was being carried out.
There was potential for up to 12,000 customers to be impacted by this burst; however, the relaity was that there were less than 100 no water calls received by NI Water during the course of the incident.
NI Water regrets and apologises for the inconvenience caused to those customers, but would be satisfied that every possible step was taken to ensure this disruption was kept to an absolute minimum.