Frequently bursting water pipes set for replacement in Portlaoise

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Work is starting on the replacement of leaky old water mains in Portlaoise which Irish Water says will improve the supply for the local community and save money.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Laois County Council, says it is commencing works to replace ageing water mains prone to frequent bursts in Portlaoise.

The works will involve the replacement of approximately 344 metres of aged cast iron and problematic water mains with high-density polyethene (plastic) pipes.

The section of works will take place on St Brigid’s Place and Parkview. New water service connections will from the public water main in the road to customers’ property boundaries and connecting it to the customers’ water supply. Where the existing service connections on the public side are lead these will be replaced as part of the improvement works.

The company says that once complete, the benefits of the project for the local community will include a more reliable water supply. It says reduced leakage will improve water pressure to homes and businesses. The utility says operational and maintenance costs will also be reduced due to less maintenance.

The work is part of Irish Water’s national Leakage Reduction Programme which will see €500 million spent reducing leakage across the country by fixing and replacing old mains.

Irish Water says the works will be carried out in short sections to limit the impact on customers. It says traffic management will be in place during this time. It advises that local and emergency traffic will be maintained at all times.

As for disturbance to supply the company says works may involve some short-term water shut-offs but the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours’ notice prior to any planned water shut offs.

Commenting on the works, Joe Carroll, Irish Water Network Programmes Regional Lead, said: "The replacement of these ageing water mains in Portlaoise will improve the security of supply for local residents and businesses alike. Replacing the existing water mains with new modern pipes will provide a long-term solution to ensure safe and secure water supply is delivered to customers. Irish Water understands this type of work can be inconvenient and will ensure our work crews make every effort to minimise any disruption these works may cause."

Residents and businesses in the areas of the works have been notified and customers can call the Irish Water customer helpline on 1850 278 278 for any questions in relation to the works.