18 May 2022

Irish Water to start work on busy Portlaoise schools access road on the first day back after lockdown

The two big schools have not been fully occupied since December

Ploughing Traffic heavy on Portlaoise Mountmellick Raod

Traffic always a problem on access road when schools are open

Up to two weeks of water pipe replacement work is set to begin on one of the main access roads to two big Portlaoise secondary schools on the first day back for all pupils since lockdown.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Laois County Council, has announced that it is to begin 'essential' water mains replacement works in Portlaoise to improve the security of supply and reduce high levels of leakage in the area.

The utility says the works, which are scheduled to begin on Monday 12 April, will involve the replacement of almost 300 meters of old problematic water mains in Colliers Lane, Portlaoise.

Colliers Lane is the main access point to the Scoil Chriost Rí and St Mary's CBS campus for pupils travelling in cars and buses from the Dublin Road in Portlaoise. The schools have not been fully occupied since last December.

The CBS have advised parents and staff to factor in delays as work will begin at 8am.

Irish Water says the work is expected to be completed by the end of April in Colliers Lane.

The Leinster Express has also been asked why the work is commencing on the first day back for all students.

In its statement Irish Water, says the pipes will be replaced with new, high-density polyethylene (plastic) pipes which will improve water quality and reduce high levels of leakage which was impacting the water supply to customers in these areas.

It said the works will also involve laying new water service connections from the public water main in the road to customers’ property boundaries and connecting it to the customer’s water supply. Where the existing service connections on the public side are lead, these will be replaced as part of this improvement work.

Irish Water and Laois County Council regret any inconvenience these improvement works may cause.  The works will be carried out on behalf of Irish Water by Ward and Burke Ltd. 

Speaking about the project, Joe Carroll, Irish Water, said “We understand that this type of work can be inconvenient and will ensure our work crews make every effort to minimise any disruption these works may cause. We would like to thank the local community, businesses, homeowners and commuters for their patience and cooperation while we deliver these vital water network improvement works to safeguard the water supply in Laois”.

Irish Water says this project is one example of how Irish Water is working in partnership with Laois County Council to reduce leaks every day. Fixing leaks can be complicated with over 63,000km of water pipe in Ireland. Our national Leakage Reduction Programme will see €500 million invested up to the end of 2021 to reduce the level of leakage across the country by fixing and replacing old and damaged water mains. This will ensure a safe, reliable water supply which is vital for our health, our environment and our growing population and economy.

To date, Irish Water and Laois County Council say they have saved over 6 million litres of water daily across Co. Laois, that’s enough water to supply over 46,000 people per day, as a result of leakage reduction and repair works in several towns and villages across the county. A statement says this has significantly reduced the number of bursts and water outages, resulting in a more reliable water supply for homes and business in Laois.

For more information, please visit  

Our customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1850 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries. For updates please visit the Water Supply Updates section of the Irish Water website.

It says these essential works will be delivered in adherence with the HSE and government guidance on COVID-19.

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