No refunds following Cork city water outages in June

No refunds following Cork city water outages in June
Repairs being made to the the burst pipe on the Lee Road in June that cut supplies to thousands of homes and businesses. Picture Dan Linehan

BUSINESSES hit by last month's water outage in Cork city won't see any refunds or discounts on their bills.

Irish Water has, however, agreed to develop a text alert system to better inform customers of outages and issues on the network.

Hundreds of businesses were left without water after an outage hit the city centre on June 20. Many were forced to close early, with normal supply not returning until the following afternoon in some cases.

Bars, restaurants and cafes were among the worst hit, losing out on big traffic on a busy summer day, with many reporting damage to coffee machines and other kitchen equipment as water pressure dropped.

Cork Business Association (CBA) held crunch talks with the utility provider in recent days, with the issues of compensation and communication among the topics discussed.

While a refund for businesses was ruled out, Irish Water did commit to developing a text alert system similar to that used by Cork City Council.

The system will alert users of outages and other issues on the water network and should be operational by the end of the year, though officials at the CBA confirmed it has urged Irish Water to fast-track the implementation.

The CBA and Irish Water are also set to work closely to improve 'optimal methods of communication' to allow Irish Water to contact businesses directly.

Lawrence Owens, chief executive of the CBA, said the body is 'satisfied that its concerns have been taken on board.

He said, "Our main objective was to ensure that Irish Water fully understood the scale of the disruption to business and how they could have better managed what was a predictable event."

While Mr Owens conceded that refunds are now unlikely, he said that many businesses may not be satisfied with that particular outcome.

The outage occurred when a mains supply pipe near the Lee Road waterworks burst early on the morning of Wednesday, June 20.

An estimated 40,000 people were left without water throughout the city.

Irish Water said the burst pipe was located and identified within a short period, with repair crews working to see supply returned by Wednesday evening.

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