Longford County Council Water Services aim to maintain a pressure of at least 12m (1.2 Bar or 17.4 psi) in the water-main network at anytime of the day which will fluctuate as a result of varying demand; most water schemes operate in the normal water pressure range of 13.8 – 48m (1.38-4.8 Bar or 20 to 70 psi); however some group water schemes or parts of the network have experience water pressure problems. A rare problem is low pressure, where water fails to fill attic storage tanks at an adequate rate causing periodic water shortages.
What do I do when my water pressure is very low?
The customer is responsible for the section of the service pipe, which extends from the street control stopcock or meter box into his/her premises. This could be due to general low pressure in the area (This is likely if other houses on your road have a similar problem). For some customers the problem is caused by sharing a single supply pipe from the water main.
- This can be a problem if the pipe is too small or in poor condition
- If there is a leak or if customers sharing a supply frequently use water at the same time
Pressure can also be affected by the height of a customer's property, i.e. properties at the top of a hill receive lower pressure than properties which are at the bottom of the hill. Pressure varies during the day depending on the demand for water. When demand is high e.g. in the mornings and early evenings, pressure can be lower than during the rest of the day. There can also be problems during dry spells when people are using sprinklers and hose-pipes to water their gardens. In some cases pressure problems are caused by the customer's own pipe-work. For example a damaged or leaking pipe or a partially closed internal tap or a leaking toilet. In other cases, customers' pipes are old and have become corroded, restricting the water flow. If mains water is found to be too low, water softeners filters, showers and washing machines may not work.
One solution to help guarantee an adequate supply from poor water pressure in water mains is to install an adequately sized water tank to collect mains water in reserve with a pump to boost the water back within the normal pressure range. Pumps are usually set between 17 - 31m (1.7 - 3.1 Bar or 25 - 45 psi).
Other causes of low pressure can be the responsibility of Longford County Council:
- Routine maintenance or repairs of water mains may result in short-term reductions in pressure
- Pumping facilities may not be adequate
The water main may be too small - leakage, equipment failures or blockages of the service pipe, outside the boundary-wall may reduce the water pressure.