Engineers dig in to plug borough's leaky pipes

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MOST local householders escaped the worst of the supply cuts during the recent water crisis, but major leaks across the borough contributed to the misery faced by thousands of people in other areas who were left without water for several days.

Department for Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy revealed that a leak at the Mallusk industrial estate, along with two other major pipe bursts in Limavady and Belfast, took 10 million litres out of the water system each day before they were discovered and repaired.

While a spokesperson for NI Water said they couldn't provide details of exactly how many leaks had been identified and repaired in the Newtownabbey area, engineers were spotted at various locations around the borough in recent days repairing burst pipes and damaged watermains.

"Since December 27, NI Water have located and repaired 326 bursts together with locating and shutting down 328 supply pipes. This has contributed to reducing leakage and enabled service reservoir levels to increase to provide supplies to customers," a spokeswoman said.

While Newtownabbey may have avoided the worst of the supply cuts, many householders did have their water turned off for short periods while NI Water "alternated supplies" to other areas.

A spokesperson for Newtownabbey Borough Council confirmed that the Valley and Sixmile leisure centres had been open over the holidays to allow local residents with no running water to take showers or fill up containers with drinking water, with both facilities being opened specially for several hours on New Year's Day.

Read the full story in this week's Times...