Irish Water claims the saving of millions of litres of water by fixing leaks in the past three years in Laois is enough to meet the needs of thousands of people in the county each day.
The utility claims it has achieved the savings by working with Laois County Council through a big leak repair project which has seen kilometres of pipes replaced and lots of other upgrades carried out since 2018.
The company outlined the work done in a statement.
"Irish Water, in partnership with Laois County Council, has saved over 6 million litres of water daily across Co. Laois, enough water to supply over 46,000 people per day, as a result of leakage reduction and repair works across the county.
"The works involved replacing almost 18km of old and damaged water mains in several towns and villages across Laois as well as providing new service connections; find and fixing leaks; and controlling and managing pressure more effectively to improve the security of water supply.
"This has significantly reduced the number of bursts and water outages, resulting in a more reliable water supply for homes and business in Laois," it said.
The company also outlined the extent of the leak problem.
"Since the commencement of the works over 212 public side leaks have been repaired through our Find and Fix Scheme resulting in almost 4 million litres of water saved per day. That is the same amount of water as the average daily use of approximately 31,000 people. Working in collaboration with Laois County Council and our Regional Contractor, Ward and Buke, Irish Water continues to mobilise crews across the county to find leaks and carry out repairs on the supply network," it said.
The statement highlighted some of the key projects.
"New water mains were installed in several towns and villages including Portlaoise, Portarlington and Durrow and a further 212 households in the county had leaks on their property’s external supply pipe repaired at no cost to the customer through Irish Water’s First Fix Free scheme. The First Fix Free scheme offers free leak investigations and repairs to customers where a constant flow of water is found on their external water supply pipe. The scheme alone has resulted in almost 1.3 million litres of water every day being saved across Laois," it said.
Joe Carroll, Regional Lead with Irish Water’s Leakage Reduction Programme, commenting on the works.
“Since being involved in the Leakage Reduction Programme across Co Laois, I have seen first-hand how efforts to tackle leakage through the different types of work streams have directly benefited local residents and businesses. In 2018 the rate of leakage nationally was 46%, by the end of 2019 it was 42% and we are currently on course to achieve a national leakage rate of 38% by the end of 2021.
"We would like to thank the communities, businesses, homeowners and commuters for their patience and cooperation as we continue to deliver vital network improvement works across the county helping safeguard the water supply,” he said.
Simon Walton, Director of Water Services, Laois County Council, added that supply has improved.
“As a result of the collaborative work between Irish Water and Laois County Council, local communities across Laois are enjoying a more secure and reliable water supply. Fixing leaks can be complicated with over 63,000km of water pipe in Ireland. Most leaks aren’t visible, resulting in precious water being lost, but we are making progress and efforts to reduce leakage are continuing through the national Leakage Reduction Programme. We remain committed to successfully delivering this programme of works and improving the overall water supply in Co Laois,” he said.
Irish Water added that it continues to work in partnership with local authorities across Ireland to reduce leaks every day. As part of Irish Water’s national Leakage Reduction Programme, it said that €500 million is being 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. The company says this will ensure a safe, reliable water supply which is vital for our health, our environment and our growing population and economy.
For more information, please visit www.water.ie/reducingleaks
Read also: COMMUNITY WEALTH PROPOSAL
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