Project to remove old lead pipes due to begin end of November

Irish Water customers in Tullow 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.

This work, which is due to get underway on the week of November 27, will involve decommissioning and replacing approximately 100 lead service pipes with modern high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes at a number of locations in the town.

This 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.

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. In homes built before the 1970’s, it was common practice for the water supply pipes to be made from lead. The water supply pipe is the pipe that brings water from the mains network to a customer’s property.

Mark O’Duffy, 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.

As well as providing a safer water supply for customers, the replacement of the aging 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 Tullow”.

The works will involve laying a new water supply pipe 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 Coffey Northumbrian Limited and are planned to take approximately 12 weeks to complete. Work sections 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 1850 278 278 they have any questions about the project.

For further information, visit the Leakage Reduction Programme section.


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