Repair programme to water system will take one month to complete

14 January 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

It will take Monaghan Co Council one month to complete its repair programme to the county’s water system following the spate of problems caused by leakages and frozen pipes during the recent cold weather, Acting Co Manager David Fallon informed the Council members at their January meeting on Tuesday.
The Acting Manager, who praised the commitment shown by the Co Council staff in reacting to the problems that arose in the water system, said that they had to respond to 1,400 calls and carry out 280 repairs.
Mr Fallon said that at peak flow the Council had to contend with higher leakages than they experienced this time last year, but the level had been under that experienced prior to water conservations measures that had been implemented in the county, so they were able to cope.
The Acting Manager told the meeting that Clones and Carrickmacross were two areas where the situation had been “at a knife edge”, but workers from other parts of the county had gone to Clones to help out, and the situation in Carrickmacross was helped by the local knowledge of the staff there.
“The response of our staff, despite cutbacks in overtime, was excellent,” he stated. “They gave marvellous service and I want to thank them for that.”
He added that regrettably there had been areas the Council did not get to because of the demand, and cut-offs had taken place without notice in some places where large leaks were discovered. It would take about a month to get things back in order again.
Owen Bannigan, after thanking and paying tribute to the staff on their response to the situation, said issues had arisen where underground pipes had frozen in a number of locations in towns and housing estates as well as out in the country. These issues were not easily solved, but he believed this was something the Council had to turn its attention to. He felt the Council had to identify the locations in which these problems occurred and try to do something about them.
Colr Bannigan recommended that the Council compile a database of where the problems were, and then put a plan in place to attempt to ease the situation.
Heather Humphreys complimented the staff for the huge work they did over the Christmas period in trying to resolve the water issues. One employee in Clones did not have a break over the entire Christmas holiday.
She also referred to the problem of pipes being frozen underground before they got to the connection to a house and agreed that the Council had to identify where the serious problem areas were and put a plan in place for next year.
Paudge Connolly said the Council staff had stepped up to the mark and gone beyond the call of duty in difficult situations. Referring to the contribution made by the staff in Carrickmacross who had known the local water system intimately, Colr Connolly thought there should be an onus on the Council to tap into such knowledge and have it logged somewhere in order that it would not be lost when the staff members concerned retired.
Pat Treanor said the county had experienced an unprecedented drop in temperatures and he could appreciate that they were not ready for some of the problems they encountered. Out of the situation there were a lot of lessons to be learned.
He thought the public should be afforded a platform to explain what had happened to them. Many households had effectively lost Christmas and were in a bad way over the holiday period. For some the fear of being without water was almost as bad as having none.

Full report in the Northern Standard

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