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Annoyance over Doolin water outages

DOOLIN Community Council has complained that the area had three breaks in water supply within a week, causing disruption to local residents and business people, while it has also criticised the level of communication around the issue.
In a statement it said, “In some parts of the village water supply simply stopped on Thursday for about six hours and in other parts of the village the same thing happened on Saturday for almost 24 hours.
“A third outage occurred on Tuesday morning leaving residents and businesses without water. In all cases the outage was made worse by the fact that it was followed by a full day of “dirty” water that couldn’t be used for any purpose and couldn’t be consumed.”
With many visitors in the area, it said the lack of water was a huge problem.
“At the height of the tourist season owners of businesses such as B&Bs had no water for guest showers and had to supply bottled water for guest rooms. Some reported guests demanding refunds or reductions because they couldn’t shower.
“Other business owners, such as tea, coffee and snack suppliers saw a cut of 65% in takings as they couldn’t supply hot beverages.”
The Community Council said that there had been no notification of the cuts in supply, no indication of when it would resume and no indication that the water supplied would be unusable for a period of time.
They claimed that residents who contacted Irish Water were not given information and that many B&B owners who put on washes after the water resumed ended up with badly soiled bed linen.
Sarah McTiernan, chairperson of Doolin Community Council, said, “Accidents and outages occur and it is vital that people are informed about what is happening, when it is likely to be repaired and what subsequent problems may arise.
“Furthermore, the system needs to be reviewed so repeat occurrences do not occur, especially in the height of an already impacted tourist season.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Irish Water said it had done its best to respond to an issue in the area, and that communication around unplanned outages can be difficult.
“Irish Water, working in partnership with Clare County Council responded as soon as possible to a float valve failure issue on the inlet to Doolin Reservoir (Ballyvoe) last Thursday.
“This issue caused unplanned outages, with discolouration the following day.
“Once Irish Water was made aware of the issues, a crew was dispatched to resolve the issue immediately.
“Business customers who are registered with Irish Water will receive a text message when there are outages, a Boil Water Notice or a Do Not Consumer notice in their area.
“Planned outages will be communicated in advance, however unplanned outages will take a little longer to communicate. Business customers can update their details and ensure they can receive the latest information at the following link. https://www.water.ie/contact/business-customers/update-account/index.xml
“Irish Water would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.