Drought causes street-by-street nightly water leak checks in Portlaoise

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

water drought heatwave

Nightly water checks in Portlaoise.

Water meters are being used successfully to help Irish Water contracted leak detection crews in a street-by-street house-to-house campaign to tackle leak wastage of water during the drought.

Subcontractors working on behalf of the utility have come to the attention of reisdents in recent nights in Portlaoise as part of efforts to pinpoint domestic leaks that are hitting the Laois towns supply. Crews have also been dispatched to Rathdowney.

It is understood that the work is being done at night as water usage falls in houses in evenings. This allows crews to use listening devices to check for unusual levels of water flows  that are likely to indicate leakage on the supply or in house. Water meters are also checked to see if an a house is using an irregular amount of water during the evenings.

While leak detection efforts have stepped up becuause of the drought, the dry spell is, to some extent, helping workers to indentify leaks.

Normally other underground water flows such as drains and culverts impede the ability of workers to detect leaks on pipes. The abscence of such flows yields a more precise picture.

It is understood that he main aim of the night work is the identify big leaks that can be repaired. However, the information gaterhed will also be used to pinpoint smaller domestic leaks which Irish Water can notify to households.

It is believed that some significant leakage has already been identified.

Irish Water confirmed that it has leak detection and repair crews working, under the operational direction of Laois County Council, in both Portlaoise and Rathdowney. 

The Portlaoise supply is one of the at risk supplies identified by Irish Water.

Water restrictions remain in place. While temperatures have cooled Met Éireann is not expecting significant rainfall to replenish raw water stocks.