Water service breakdowns that occur on Sundays around the county are not being repaired by South Tipperary Co. Council until Mondays because of budget cutbacks, a Council meeting was told.
The Council’s acting Director of Environment & Water Services Jimmy Harney said the Council continues to have water service repair crews on duty on Saturday to respond to leaks and other difficulties but water leaks that arise on Sundays aren’t being repaired until Monday morning.
The Council is taking the measure to cutback on the amount of overtime pay for water services staff.
“Due to the budget situation we have taken a view that if leaks arise on a Sunday we won’t attend it until Monday.
“We have been pushed into that situation, and are not happy about it, but certainly we are responding on Saturdays,” he explained.
However, Cllr Jimmy O’Brien from Drangan complained at the meeting that a water leak that occurred between Drangan and Cloneen that was reported to the Council on a Friday evening was not repaired on the Saturday and residents in the Drangan area were left without water until the following Tuesday evening.
The leak wasn’t repaired until the Monday evening and due to the delay another water burst occurred, which had to be fixed resulting in the water supply not returning until Tuesday, the councillor explained to The Nationalist.
Senior Engineer in Environment & Water Services Denis Holland responded that there were a number of water leaks in the Drangan area that weekend and the Council wasn’t in a position to respond as quickly as it would have been in the past due to the budget situation and staff constraints.
Independent Cllr Eddie O’Meara from Mullinahone said the Council would be better off paying the overtime to staff to fix leaks as they arise rather than having to incur the cost of hiring water tankers to supply residents, whose waters were cut off.
Mr Harney responded that tankers weren’t required on a Sunday and reiterated that while Council staff wouldn’t be carrying out repairs on a Sunday they would be out to fix problems early on Mondays.