Northern Ireland

NI Water says over 56,600 to face water restrictions

Man walks along country lane carrying bottles of water
Image caption Thousands more face overnight water restrictions

Northern Ireland Water has announced that thousands more homes are to have their water supplies restricted overnight.

More than 56,600 properties will be on a rotating on/off supply.

Earlier, a spokesperson for the government-owned company said it hoped to end rotation of supplies on Saturday as water levels in their reservoirs improved, but it was unable to do so.

The areas affected include east Belfast, Dungannon and Aughnacloy.

North Belfast, Dunmurry, Castlewellan, Newry, and Ballygawley are also being placed on a rotating supply.

On Saturday night, parts of Belfast as well as customers in the Ballygawley/Aughnacloy area will have their supply curtailed for a limited period.

In the west of Northern Ireland, the supply will be rotated between 2200 and 0700 GMT and in the east of Northern Ireland, the cuts will happen between 2000 and 0800 GMT.

Currently, the number of customers without any supply has been reduced to 2,600 properties.

The overnight switch off will add thousands more homes and businesses to those numbers.

Bill Gowdy from NI Water said staff would work through the night to repair bursts, but that they had to build up supplies in reservoirs.

"We are trying to do the work in the evening and early morning when water usage will not be very high," he said.

"That gives us a chance to build up the water in the reservoirs for the morning.

"The problem that we are faced with is the large number of bursts on private supply pipes into individual premises... our challenge is to identify them."

A full list of areas where the water supply will be turned off is available on the NI Water website, along with a list of locations where temporary water supplies have been set up.

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