Frequently asked Questions about Drinking Water Supply.

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1 Frequently asked Questions about Drinking Water Supply. My water supply has stopped. How do I fix it or find the problem? My water supply was off recently and the water is discoloured coming from the tap. Why? My water supply was off recently and the water appears cloudy or white coming from the tap. Why? My water is off at the moment, can I use my central heating system or appliances? My water was off recently and although water has come back to the cold tap in the kitchen there is no water upstairs in the bathroom. AIRLOCKS? What should I do if my pipes are frozen? Why can't we be informed of all water shutdowns in advance? Where are the watermains near my property? How do I get a new water supply to my property? How do I apply for a Water Grant? How do I report a burst or leak? My water supply has stopped. How do I fix it or find the problem? If you have water supply at normal pressure in the cold tap in your kitchen and no water in other parts of your property then the main water supply to the house is ok and you have a problem with your internal plumbing. If you have recently had work carried out in your house, has your builder or plumber turned off your stopcock/s and not turned one back on again. If this is the case check with them before turning stopcock/s back on. You should have an internal and an external stopcock, check both. Your internal stopcock is normally located in the kitchen before the take-off for your cold kitchen tap. Your external stopcock is normally located in the footpath outside your property. Sometimes if work is being carried out in your area your stopcock may have been turned off. If you live in a multi-unit development it may have a private pumping system. These are normally managed by a management company. Check with your neighbours. If they have water and you don t, this indicates an internal problem in your property and you may need to contact a plumber. When we are aware of major water supply disruptions affecting your area we will put details of these on the front page of our website. If there is a burst in your area and there is no notice on our website we may not yet be aware of it so please contact us, as the sooner we know of bursts the quicker they re fixed and your supply can be returned.

2 My water supply was off recently and the water is discoloured coming from the tap. Why? When the water supply has been switched off to carry out repairs to bursts etc., some sediment can become dislodged from the water pipes during the switching back on of the supply. If you run the water for a short time it will run clear. My water supply was off recently and the water appears cloudy or white coming from the tap. Why? This is quite a common occurrence when a watermain has been opened to repair bursts etc., air enters the pipe network and gives the water a milky/cloudy appearance when it comes from the tap. If you leave the water to settle in a glass you will see that the air quickly leaves and the water is as clear as normal. My water is off at the moment, can I use my central heating system or appliances? If heating systems and appliances are plumbed correctly there's no problem running them during or after a water disruption. In South Dublin we only permit indirect plumbing, ie the only thing plumbed directly off the mains is the kitchen tap and everything else should be independent or supplied via a storage tank including your heating. During a water disruption the supply to your kitchen tap will stop, but all the water supply to all other water points in your property should continue as these should all be plumbed via your storage tank. We advise that you use water sparingly during any service disruption as this will ensure you have enough water in your storage tank for at least 24 hours normal usage. My water was off recently and although water has come back to the cold tap in the kitchen there is no water in other taps in the house. AIRLOCKS? This occurs in some plumbing systems after a water shutdown. It is an airlock in your system and you may need to engage a plumber to eliminate it. SDCC endeavour to keep service disruptions to a minimum but do not maintain internal plumbing systems Advice on Getting Rid of Airlocks Following a disruption to Water Supply some households may get airlocks in their internal plumbing system. The airlock is generally in the hot water system and most likely the result of faulty internal plumbing.

3 This is what to do if you get an airlock:- Firstly make sure all hot taps in the house are in the closed position. Then either proceed with option 1 or 2. Step 3 applies to both. 1. If the hot and cold taps in the kitchen are separate i.e. not combined in a mixer tap, the hot tap should be turned on. If there is an airlock, no water will come from the hot tap. A short length of hose should be used to connect the hot and cold taps in the kitchen only. Turning on the cold tap will result in the cold water being forced through the hot water system and this will force the air which is causing the airlock back into the water tank in the attic. OR 2. If there is a mixer tap in the kitchen, the hot tap should be turned on. With a cloth in your hand (to help reduce water squirting out) block the mixer tap and turn on the cold water tap gently. This should force the cold water back through the hot water system, forcing the air into the water tank in the attic. Care should be exercised when doing this in case of accidental scalding with hot water. 3. Let this run for 1 2 minutes, then turn off the cold tap and let the hot tap run for 1 2 minutes to confirm that the air lock is cleared. If the air lock is not cleared, repeat the procedure one or two times more. If this is not successful, contact a plumber and get them to correct the problem. In rare cases the cold water taps in wash hand basins or the bath may also be air locked. This procedure will also work for them, but is more difficult as a long length of hose is necessary from the kitchen cold tap to the nearest wash hand basin or bath tap. If you have a problem or concern, contact a qualified plumber for advice. What should I do if my pipes are frozen? Prevention: - To prevent problems, do what you can to protect the pipes inside and outside your house. Where possible ensure any outside pipes are insulated and if not insulated at least covered. For houses with their storage tanks in the attic, you should ensure that the area under the roof tank can get heat from underneath, so remove any insulation which prevents that. It may be useful to open the trap door to the attic to allow heat up there (only if safe to do so) It can also be useful to allow heat to circulate to under-sink pipes where they run along an outside wall by leaving a cupboard door open (only if safe to do so)

4 Cure:- If you have no water and your neighbours do, it is likely that you have frozen pipes on your property. It is critical to know where your internal and external stopcocks are located so as these can be operated quickly to prevent water damage. If a leak becomes apparent in your property then shut off the internal stopcock which is normally located in the kitchen before the take-off for the kitchen tap. If the leak is on a pipe located after your storage tank then turning off the isolating valve from the tank will further help prevent water damage. If there is no water from the cold tap in your kitchen, the chances are that the external stopcock or the pipe from the external stopcock to the house is frozen. It may help to pour warm water over the stopcock - do not use boiling water for this purpose or any naked flame. Remember, however, that if water at any temperature builds up in the stopcock chamber it will almost certainly freeze within minutes: so use as little water as possible or pack a warm towel around the stopcock. If the freezing has occurred in the line between the stopcock and the house, the warm water is unlikely to solve the problem. If you can identify the pipe that is frozen and it is above ground you may carry out the following to try to thaw it out: You may try to gently heat the pipe where you suspect the freeze has occurred. Alternatively, you could wrap a towel around the pipe securing it with duct tape and pour hot water over the towel. Once the obstruction is cleared and the water is flowing again, turn off all taps and check for leaks in the area where the obstruction occurred. Any leaks you find should be repaired immediately. If you cannot repair them yourself, call a qualified plumber. Remember, if you have a burst pipe or frozen supply, to be careful about the use of heating systems, washing machines and other water-dependent appliances and facilities. If you have a problem or concern with any of the above, contact a qualified plumber for assistance. Why can't we be informed of all water shutdowns in advance? In most cases loss of water supply is for very short periods of time. SDCC are not usually in a position to inform of shutdowns in advance as they usually are of an emergency nature, i.e. burst mains, and our priority is to attend to the problem and repair the burst as quickly as possible. Notifications of all major planned shutdowns, and of major emergency shuts to repair bursts, are given on the Council s website.

5 Where are the watermains near my property? If you are planning a development or excavations on or near your property you will need to know where the watermains are. Maps of water and drainage services are available from the Planning & Records Section. These can be viewed at the public counter on request, or How do I get a new water supply to my property? To make an application for a Water Connection you must know where the water main is situated in relation to your site. Is it: 1) located in the road, or 2) located in the footpath adjacent to your property? 1) If the water main is in or across the road from the site to be connected (i.e. an excavation of a roadway is required), you must use a T2 Road Opening License form. 2) If the water main is under the footpath adjacent to the site to be connected (i.e. there is no need to dig across a roadway), use a T3 Road Opening License form. Both forms are available to download from or from SDCC Water Services (Phone ). The form should be completed giving the following: Details of the property to be connected. The type of water connection(s) required. The size of the dig. The name, contact details and insurance details of the Contractor who will be carrying out the dig. The Contractor will require Public Liability Insurance indemnifying South Dublin County Council for at least 6.4 million in respect of any one accident and will require Employer s Liability Insurance indemnifying South Dublin County Council for at least 12.7 million in respect of any one accident. Your Planning Register Reference No. A drawing showing the site and details of the connection and pipework from the existing watermain to the property. The cost of a one-off domestic house connection is currently 430 or 300 for a single apartment connection. There is also a charge for the T2 or T3 Road Opening License itself and the cost of this depends on the size of the dig in question. When payment has been received and we have confirmed that all appropriate planning requirements have been met, arrangements will then be made between the contractor and SDCC to make the connection. The excavation has to be properly reinstated as per the T2 or T3 licence, and meet the requirements of SDCC Roadworks Control Unit. How do I apply for a Water Grant? This Grant is funded by the Department of the Environment & Local Government and administered by SDCC, to assist residents who are on an individual water supply from a well to improve a seriously deficient supply either by drilling of a new well or installing a new pump on an existing well. For Application Forms and Explanatory Memoranda contact SDCC Water Services (telephone: ), or a request to An

6 application form should be fully completed and returned enclosing an estimate for works to be carried out and a site location map of the property. How do I report a burst or leak? For more information or to report bursts or leaks please contact us at any of the numbers or below. 1. Deansrath Water Depot, 8am to midnight: Phone (01) Emergency outside office hours: Phone (01) Water Services, South Dublin County Council, County Hall, Tallaght, Dublin 24. Phone (01)

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