Irish Water has warned that repairs to a burst main that has left thousands of people without water for several days are proving "challenging".
Water supplies to households and businesses in parts of the north east are not expected to be restored until Monday evening at the earliest, Irish Water and Louth County Council have said.
Large tankers have been transporting treated water to affected areas in Drogheda and temporary watering stations have been deployed.
Queues for water in Ballsgrove in Drogheda. It's estimated that over 60,000 people are without a water supply in the area and it's surrounds pic.twitter.com/mOSMz42tus— Sinéad Hussey (@SineadHus) July 23, 2017
The burst at the Staleen Water Treatment Plant occurred on Friday morning. Irish Water said that works to repair the water main have proved to be more difficult than first anticipated, due to the age and type of pipe.
The burst is located over four metres underground and requires a complex repair.
The plant supplies drinking water to Drogheda and surrounding areas, as well as parts of south Louth and east Meath, including Ashbourne and Ratoath.
Louth County Council said the burst on the Drogheda water main has resulted in a "significantly reduced supply to Drogheda town and environs".
The local authority said Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital has been prioritised and is still supplied with water.
In order to manage the remaining water a programme of rationing for the rest of the town has been initiated.
Thousands of households left without water supply due to burst water mains in northeast pic.twitter.com/dvWl1ctTqu— RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 23, 2017
Irish Water and Louth County Council have supplemented the water supply coming in to Drogheda by using large tankers to bring treated water in from neighbouring areas.
Irish Water said the treated water is being delivered directly into the network to increase available water for the rotating roster.
The water roster and location of watering stations can be viewed on Louth County Council and Irish Water websites.
Fine Gael's Fergus O'Dowd believes water tankers need to be brought in to the affected areas.
"They should have proper tankers, they should be going up and down the streets of our town, we have over 60,000 people living locally," he said.
"Many people are not able to carry the volumes of water that they need for their family.
"It just doesn't make sense."