South Tipperary local authorities report that water supply is now restored to most areas around the county where cut offs were experienced over Christmas due to water pipes that burst or leaked following the long spell of freezing temperatures.
The Co. Council has appealed to householders, businesses and other water users to conserve water to help restore supplies in the county's resevoirs, which were seriously depleted over Christmas due to leaks and a surge in demand as many households kept taps on at night to stop water pipes freezing during the cold snap.
The Council has also called on property and landowners to check their water supplies for leaks, especially where properties were vacant over Christmas and, in the case of farmers, where water supply points around their holdings weren't in use due to the winter housing of livestock.
Aidan Fennessy of South Tipperary Co. Council said supplies in the resevoirs were slowly returning to normal but he warned that the Council may have to continue to restrict water supplies in some areas at night.
The Council imposed night-time water restrictions in many areas around the county up to last weekend but this now only applies to a small number of areas.
Over the Christmas holiday period, Co. Council plumbing crews repaired an estimated 500 water leaks to its water mains system. Co. Council staff worked through the New Year bank holiday weekend repairing damage to water mains.
There are about 150 leaks left to repair. Mr Fennessy said the Council hoped to make these repairs over the next week.
He said the situation regarding water supply cut offs and shortages has improved significantly over the past few days and water supply difficulties were only still being experienced in small pockets of the county, such as highland areas where the supply is still not enough to get to households.
County areas where water supply difficulties continued to be experienced this week included Clerihan, Dundrum, Emly, Mullinahone, Killenaule and Ballinure.
Mr Fennessy said the Council sent tankers of water to several rural communities suffering water supply problems from last Thursday onwards.
These tankers were still in place in outlying areas around Killenaule, Emly and Mullinahone on Tuesday. There were only a small number of houses in these areas experiencing water supply difficulties.
Mr Fennessy estimated that about 50 houses around the county were still experiencing water cut offs and shortages this week.
In Clonmel where between 3000 and 4000 people were hit by water supply cut offs over Christmas, Town Clerk Billy Doyle said water supply was now restored to most of the affected areas.
"We are still experiencing some water pressure problems in certain high buildings and areas of the town," he reported.
He said the Borough Council repaired water mains as the damage was reported to the local authority throughout Christmas and up to New Year's Day.
About 200 leaks and bursts to Council water mains were repaired on St Stephen's Day and December 27 and up to 50 more repairs have since been carried out.
Mr Doyle paid tribute to the Borough Council staff who "worked above and beyond the call of duty" to repair water mains and restore supply to households, businesses and other water customers.
He acknowledged the frustration among people, whose water supply was cut off or reduced over the Christmas but pointed out that the Borough Council never turned off the supply in the town and brought tankers of water to affected residential areas throughout the crisis.