Water restrictions affecting 1,500 households in west Limerick are likely to continue for several days as Co Council crews work on trying to stem an oil leak with has polluted the River Deel, and affected the local water supply.

The Council estimates that up to 2,000 litres of heavy fuel oil leaked accidentally from a commercial plant located outside Newcastle West.

The leak has meant they have had to cease production at the Shannon Estuary Area Water Supply plant in Askeaton, because they could not guarantee the quality of the water.

The water supply had to be cut off in Askeaton, Foynes, Shanagolden and surrounding areas from 9pm last night until 7am today.

Restrictions will be in place again tonight and possibly in the coming days, as the leak is worse than Council engineers had originally thought.

The oil is a heavy duty one, more viscous than ordinary diesel oil, making it very difficult to eradicate and clean up, and it’s still leaking into the river.

Council workers have been working throughout the day placing booms, straw and absorbent pads on tributary streams in an effort to contain the spill.

Council engineers said today that if water restrictions must continue, they will be making efforts to supply water tankers in the towns and villages affected.