17 November 2017 Go back to News
Customers in Dundalk to benefit from safer drinking water supply as lead service connections are removed
A safer and more reliable supply of drinking water as a result of a project to remove old lead pipes connecting properties in Dundalk.
Irish Water customers in Dundalk will benefit from a safer and more reliable supply of drinking water as a result of a project to remove old lead pipes connecting properties in the town with the public water supply network. The connection between the property and the public water supply is called the water supply pipe. In homes built before the 1970’s, it was common practice for the water supply pipes to be made from lead. The work will firstly involve site investigations to establish if lead pipe connections are present, as not all properties built before the 1970’s will have lead connections.
This work, is due to get underway the week commencing November 27, and will commence in Green Acres, Afton Drive and Laurel Grove. The work includes site investigations (to establish if lead connections are present), decommissioning and replacing lead service connection pipes with modern high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes.
The presence of lead in drinking water is a recognised health concern. The drinking water produced and distributed by Irish Water is free from lead. However, there is a possibility that lead can dissolve into water as it passes through old lead pipework.
Derek Deignan, Irish Water’s Networks Programme Regional Lead, explained: “Irish Water is responsible for the pipe from the outer edge of the boundary of a property. The property owner is responsible for the pipe from the outer edge of the property boundary to the building and all the internal plumbing. Where public side lead pipework is replaced as part of this project, the customer will be notified that it is likely that there is lead pipework present within their property. This notice will include tips on identifying lead pipework as well as information on a private side lead pipework replacement grant available from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. A simple way of identifying lead is to scrape the pipe gently with a coin or a knife – if a shiny silver strip is revealed, then the pipe is lead.
“As well as providing a safer water supply for customers, the replacement of the ageing lead service connections, many of which are in poor condition, will reduce the instances of bursts in the area and thereby significantly reduce the level of disruption to Irish Water customers in Dundalk”.
The works will involve laying a new water service connection from the public water main in the street to the customer’s property boundary and connecting it to the customer’s water supply. This may involve some short-term water shut offs and the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours prior notice of any planned water shut offs.
The works will be carried out on behalf of Irish Water by GMC Utilities and are planned to continue into 2018. Areas of work will be limited to short sections to minimise impact on customers.
Traffic management will be in place for the duration of the works. Local and emergency traffic will be maintained at all times.
Residents in the affected areas will be notified ahead of the works commencing and customers can contact Callsave 1850 278 278 if they have any questions about the project.
This project is part of Irish Water’s national Leakage Reduction Programme which represents an investment of €500 million over the next four years to reduce leakage and remove old lead pipes from the public water network.
Find out more about Irish Water’s Leakage Reduction Programme.