25 Sept 2022

Laois town's new yellow boxes disappear with new roadworks

Laois town's new yellow boxes disappear with new roadworks

Roadworks at Lord Edward Street, Mountmellick in Laois. Photo: Lynda Kiernan

A Laois town's new yellow boxes have disappeared just a month after they were painted.

Last August, the yellow boxes were painted at the entrances to laneways serving terraced houses in Mountmellick's Lord Edward Street. 

The works by Laois County Council were done following a motion tabled by Cllr Paddy Bracken, who said that residents were unable to access their rear laneways because vehicles were parking across the lanes.

He had welcomed the approval by the council to paint the boxes, as did local people when the boxes went in.

Within a month however, they have been dug up by Irish Water as work begins to update along the busy road.

Irish Water has explained to the Leinster Express that they are updating old water pipes behind the Lord Edward Street houses.

"Irish Water, working in partnership with Laois County Council is replacing ageing backyard water mains and providing new service connections for customers along Lord Edward Street in Mountmellick to improve water supply to homes in the area. The delivery of these essential works will provide a safer, more secure water supply for the town, by minimising the frequency of bursts and improving the resilience of the network.

"The works will involve the decommissioning of ageing backyard water mains and the delivery of new water mains on the public road. New service connections for customers will also be provided," the company said. 

The connections could be made of lead or iron, say Irish Water.

"In some older estates across the country water connections, typically made of iron or lead, were installed to the rear of properties, often referred to as backyard service connections. The pipework due to age and deterioration factors can be a significant source of leakage. Backyard water services are usually shared, running through neighbouring properties making it difficult to detect and repair leaks. Since properties may share a connection, leaks and bursts can affect all properties in a neighbourhood which can result in low pressure. This project will strive to alleviate these issues for properties along Lord Edward Street in Mountmellick," they said.

The yellow boxes were repainted just ahead of the National Ploughing Championships.

Joe Carroll is Regional Delivery Lead.

“The first step in ensuring the delivery of this essential project along Lord Edward Street in Mountmellick will require a survey of each property before the works commence. This is to assess the current water connection arrangements in place and to also facilitate discussion on the best way to connect the new service connection to the customers’ homes.”

“We would like to thank the local community in advance for their patience and cooperation while we deliver this essential water network improvement project.”

The work may mean water outages. 

“The works, when they commence. may involve some short-term water outages, and the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48-hours’ notice prior to any planned water outages. Where water mains are being constructed traffic management may be in place during this time, but local and emergency traffic will be maintained at all times."

Customers to benefit from these improvement work have been contacted directly by Ward & Burke Construction Ltd who are carrying out the works on behalf of Irish water.

The National Leakage Reduction Programme helps provide a more reliable water supply to Irish communities by reducing high levels of leakage and improving water quality. Since 2018, its delivery represents an investment of over €500 million to upgrade the underground water network across the country through the delivery of the Leakage Reduction Programme. Irish Water is also investing a further €250 million annually up to the end of 2030 directed at fixing leaks and replacing pipes to provide a more reliable water supply.

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