Sinn Féin TD for Meath East Darren O’Rourke says a dedicated response and communications plan is needed to address the high frequency of water outages in Ratoath. Deputy O’Rourke made the call in the Dáil this week in advance of a meeting of meeting between Meath East Oireachtas members, Ratoath area councillors and Uisce Éireann.
He told Meath Live, “The number and duration of water outages and restrictions in Ratoath is extraordinary. They have caused great disruption for households and businesses. Businesses have been forced to close or to restrict their capacity. There is an investment plan on two separate levels but the frequency of outages is very frustrating for people. The lack of communication from Uisce Éireann is even more frustrating.
“Today I attended a meeting with representatives of Uisce Éireann in the Dáil. Meath East Oireachtas members and Ratoath councillors Gillian Toole and Nick Killian were also in attendance. Thanks to all for attending. The meeting was robust.
“I made the case for a dedicated response and communications plan for Ratoath and Ashbourne. The current approach is an ad hoc one, both in terms of operations (e.g. when are tankers and bottled water is deployed and to whom/where) and communications (e.g. who gets notified and when). Uisce Éireann committed to do better. The Utility Regulator (CRU) are responsible for the ‘Customer Charter’. I will pursue this with them also.
“The case was made for a commercial water rates waiver for businesses who suffer losses due to water outages. Uisce Éireann said they will make enquiries. I fully support this and will pursue it with Uisce Éireann and the CRU.
“The case was made for the pump houses at Milltree and Steeplechase to be brought back into use. Uisce Éireann said they would consider the cost/benefit of this.
“Uisce Éireann say works on the main trunk watermain are 3 months ahead of schedule and are expected to be completed by the end of the year (with a period of testing after that). They say the works on the Windmill Hill Reservoir should be completed by Q2 2024. They committed to provide us with a schematic of water infrastructure in the area.