Mid Ulster Council Chair blasts NI Water for ‘poor response’ to crisis

Running water
Running water

Although acknowledging the hard work of NI Water to repair disruptions to home water supplies, two Mid Ulster councillors have said more could have been done to keep those affected in the loop, and to deliver bottled water.

On Tuesday there were still 9,000 homes without water in towns across Tyrone, and in the Dungiven area.

And over the last week, hundreds of homes in Cookstown, Pomeroy and Draperstown town had no running water - in some cases for days - because of bad weather, but also industrial action which saw staff refuse to do overtime.

Mid Ulster District Council Chair Cathal Mallaghan, said: “The situation has been very poor and as nice as NI Water are on the phone, their response has been incredibly poor. 48 hours into having no water was the first time alternative water was provided to Pomeroy - They are obliged to do this in 24 hours.

“I acknowledge the weather and industrial action by workers has made things much worse than they should be, however customers have been let down badly.”

Cookstown UPP Councillor, Trevor Wilson, told the Mail: “A number of people contacted me about having no water supply and I contacted NI Water to try and get bottled water, which wasn’t always a great success.

“It caused a lot of hardship for people around Pomeroy and I appreciate the efforts made by NI Water to supply bottled water to customers, however the fact that the public weren’t being kept up to date on developments caused quite a bit of concern.”

One customer in Pomeroy took to Twitter to vent her frustration. She said online: “It took a councillor & an MLA to get us here. Hope this is the end, but sympathise with those still without.”

In a previous Tweet Louise hit out at the whole situation: “Day 4 without water. @niwnews Young families caught in the middle. Pawns in NI Water’s game which has nothing to do with us. #shameful.”

NI Water said on Tuesday that homes in Draperstown and Pomeroy are back online.

Unions have defended last month’s decision to withdraw on-call services and over-time in a row over pensions.