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Achill faces water shortages due to influx of visitors


ATTRACTION Tourists have been flocking to places like Keem Beach in Achill over the last number of weeks, putting pressure on the island's water supply. Grianghraf: Cormac Ó Cionnaith

Anton McNulty

Irish Water and Mayo County Council are asking people on Achill Island to conserve the amount of water they use to prevent water shortages on the island.
Despite recent heavy rainfall, the influx of visitors to the area is resulting in drinking water demand outstripping the water plant's production, with fears it will result in water shortages if the current water usage continues.
Irish Water Operations Lead for Mayo, Ger Greally, said that ensuring water availability for all customers across the island is proving difficult to sustain under the current demands.
“Unfortunately due to the recent influx of visitors to Achill, the amount of drinking water being used on the island is greater than the volume of water which can be produced at the plant at Acorymore. We are urging all consumers at this time to be mindful of their use due to the impact this is having on customers on higher grounds.

Continuous review
“We are keeping the situation under continuous review and are working closely with Mayo County Council. We are working hard to ensure there is water available for all customers across the island but this is proving more difficult to sustain.
“At this point we are aware that there are certain areas experiencing low water pressure and intermittent water outages. In the event that the level of water consumption we are currently experiencing does not decrease, some areas may suffer from prolonged water shortages. This would mean that water would have to be brought in by tanker, which is a situation we are keen to avoid.’’
Irish Water say that all customers and visitors to the area are asked to conserve water where possible to avoid water shortages. It also urged customers to continue to follow the HSE Covid-19 guidance on hand-washing saying that they should have up to 24 hours’ storage of treated water in their attics.
“Irish Water continues to work at this time with our local authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of drinking water and wastewater services, ” concluded Mr Greally.