Published On: Wednesday 08 August 2018 11:22

Water from the National Sports Centre swimming pools is being made available this week to help preserve dwindling stocks in the Island’s reservoirs.

A hosepipe ban came into force in the Isle of Man on 3 August following the recent prolonged spell of dry weather. 

The Meteorological Office has also forecast only a moderate probability of normal rainfall over the next three months, meaning there is little chance of reservoirs being topped up in the near future. 

However, Manx Utilities and the Department of Education, Sport and Culture have come up with an innovative solution to provide grey water for activities such as watering plants and garden and washing windows and vehicles. 

Up to one and a half million litres of water will be available from the competition and leisure pools at the NSC until 3pm on Friday 10 August. The swimming facilities closed on 4 August to enable work to start on a major upgrade. 

A natural de-chlorination process has taken place since the NSC chlorinator unit was switched off on Friday. Scientific analysis by officers from the Government Laboratory has shown that while the water is not suitable for drinking it can be used for other general tasks and will not damage the environment. 

Manx Utilities has already pumped some of the pool water for use by Douglas Borough Council to maintain its floral displays around the Island’s capital and is also working with the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service. 

The pool water will be available for collection by organisations or individuals with a need for large volumes of water (greater than 100 litres) between 9am and 3pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 to 11 August. 

Anyone interested should call the Manx Utilities hotline on 687760 and must have their own water tank or bowser and transportation. Manx Utilities is unfortunately unable to transport the water. 

The cut-off point for collections is 3pm on Friday in order to prevent any delay to the refurbishment of the NSC swimming facilities. 

Manx Utilities Chairman Dr Alex Allinson MHK said: ‘The dry weather and longer term forecast forced us to impose restrictions on domestic users to help avoid water shortages later in the year. The NSC pools closed last weekend and we started to think about ways of using the water that would otherwise have been expelled into the sewer system.’ 

He added: ‘This is a good example of different areas of Government working together in response to a challenging situation. The work at the NSC will not be disrupted and people will have an opportunity over the next couple of days to access a useful supply of grey water. I hope that a concerted effort to conserve our existing water stocks will help us all through this exceptional period of dry weather.’