Programme will conserve water following unseasonably dry weather conditions resulting in historically low water levels in Straboe Well

11 large leaks have been repaired on the public water network in Mountmellick over recent weeks saving 200,000 litres of water per day. Irish Water through its agent, Laois County Council, are working to repair leaks on the network and a further 12 leaks have been found which once repaired will save an additional 50,000 litres of water a day. Work will continue over the coming weeks to find and repair leaks on the network. These savings will help to conserve water following a period of unseasonably dry weather conditions which have resulted in historically low water levels in the Straboe Well for this time of year. This work will assist in maintaining water levels in the Straboe Well reducing the risk of water supply restrictions as the year progresses.

Since 17 January 2017, the depth of water in the Straboe Well has increased by 7 metres following the combined programme of fixing leaks on the public network and from the cooperation of residents conserving water. The water depth in the well is currently only half the depth recorded at the same time of the year for the last three years.

For this reason, Irish Water is continuing to ask residents and businesses in Mountmellick to conserve water for the foreseeable future and to report any leaks they see on the public network to help restore water levels in the network.

Irish Water has a number of tips to help customers conserve water including:

  • Leak free: Check that your home is leak free. Check for running overflows and fix any dripping taps, cisterns or pipes
  •  Don’t let the tap run: Brushing your teeth with the tap running can use up to a staggering 6 litres per minute. Brushing your teeth with the tap off will use a more modest 1 litre of water
  • Shower vs. Bath: The average bath uses 80 litres of water compared to an average shower using 49 litres in seven minutes. Switch your bath to a shower for a massive water saving
  •  Less time: With the average shower using 7 litres of water per minute by turning your five minute shower into four minutes, you could save up to 7 litres of water per day!
  • Fully loaded: Always ensure your dishwasher and washing machines are fully loaded. A modern washing machine uses approximately 65 litres of water per cycle while a dishwasher uses 20 litres. By ensuring they are fully loaded, not only will you conserve water but you will also reduce your energy bills
  • Don’t flush it all away: A third of all water used in the home is flushed down the toilet. Some larger cisterns can continue to work effectively with a smaller flush. Place a displacement device into the cistern (out of the way of moving parts) to save water
  • Don’t forget to collect: Rainwater is excellent for your garden. Collect it in a water butt from your gutters but always make sure to securely cover the large container for safety

Commenting on the work John Gavin, Regional Operations Lead with Irish Water for Laois, said “We thank customers for their cooperation to help conserve water at this time. This has been the driest winter for some time. Data from Met Éireann confirms that between October 2016 and January 2017, the rainfall at the Oak Park Carlow Weather Station averaged 52% of the normal amount. The recent rain has been most welcome, but water levels remain historically low in the Straboe Well for this time of year. The savings that are made now through repairing leaks on the public network and from customers conserving water will help to reduce the risk of water supply restrictions as the year progresses. I ask the public to continue to assist Irish Water and our agents Laois County Council to conserve water, to report any leaks that they see in the water main distribution network and to reduce wastage in their properties. Any leaks can be reported to Irish Water by calling 1850 278278 or by filling out the short ‘report a leak’ form”.

Irish Water is committed to rolling out its Capital Investment Programme to invest in Ireland’s water infrastructure.  Addressing leakage in the network forms part of Irish Water’s investment plan where over €530 million was invested in upgrading water services in 2016 to improve the country’s water and wastewater infrastructure. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5 billion investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021.  


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