Water water everywhere, but hardly a drop to spare

WE MAY be surrounded by water here in Fermanagh, but with demand soaring along with the temperatures, locals are being urged to take it easy at the tap or risk restrictions being enforced.
Last Friday a hosepipe ban came into force across the North. So far that ban is not being enforced by law but if demand continues at its current rate penalties will be brought in for those breaching it. Worse, household water supplies could even be jeopardised.
A spokesman for NI Water told the Herald that Fermanagh, like everywhere else, was not currently affected by supply issues, but if the situation did not improve that could quickly change.
“The water supply in County Fermanagh comes primarily from Lough Erne and is treated at various local water treatment plants,” they said. “Currently there is no one specific area affected by water supply issues. However, if people continue to use water at the current rate, the loss of supply could become a reality anywhere.”
Responding to the many comments from people about the amount of water available in the lough, and the amount of rain we get throughout the year, NI Water explained a lack of water was not a problem. Rather, the issue was with the availability of treated water.
“The problem is the sheer amount of water people are using at the tap,” they said. “Customers are using the water faster than we can treat it and get it into supply.”
On Monday the utility company said the situation was improving slightly and slowly, but added demand was still 25 percent higher than normal.
The NI Water spokesman told the Herald: “A loss of water supply for households is a completely avoidable situation. However, if people continue to waste water it will become a reality. If everyone simply restricts unnecessary use of water, there will be plenty for everyone.”
They said the unnecessary use of water, such as washing car and watering lawns, was putting to much pressure on the public supply.
“By following the simple guidelines, it will negate the need to enforce the hosepipe ban with penalties,” said the spokesman. “If penalties were to be imposed they can include a fine of up to £1,000. If someone is aware of a breach to the hosepipe ban, they should report this to Waterline on 03457 440088.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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