Enough water to supply two Leitrim villages saved following underground leak repair

30 September 2021

The repair of a major leak in Ballinamore, saving more than 330,000 litres of water per day, is good news for the future of Leitrim’s water supply.

The repair will provide residents and businesses of the town and surrounding areas with a more reliable water supply by reducing the amount of clean drinking water lost underground.

Repair of the leak at Ardrum, Ballinamore has saved enough clean water to supply almost 2,560 people or the population equivalent of Manorhamilton and Kinlough for the day.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Leitrim County Council, recognised that the water supply in Ballinamore was subject to a high level of leakage but there was a challenge in locating the water loss due to the limited information on the underground public network.

An extensive review of the network was carried out before crews were able to locate the leak and plan the repair.

Irish Water and Leitrim County Council worked together to ensure the successful completion of the project and invaluable local knowledge helped minimise disruption to the local community.

Speaking about the success of the repair, Declan Cawley, Networks Regional Lead with Irish Water, said, “Following intensive investigative works, a substantial public water mains leak was detected in Ardrum, Ballinamore with 330,000 litres of clean drinking water lost underground every day. No water was surfacing so the data obtained from our review was imperative for us to locate the leak.  

Securing the water supply in Leitrim remains a focus for Irish Water and Leitrim County Council and our efforts to further drive down leakage in the area will help meet the future demands for the county. In 2018, the rate of leakage nationally was 46%, by the end of 2020 it was 40% and Irish Water is 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 Leitrim to helping safeguard the county’s water supply.

Speaking about the project, Peadar Griffin, Senior Executive Engineer with Leitrim County Council said, “As a result of the collaboration between Leitrim County Council and Irish Water, customers are enjoying a more secure and reliable water supply.

 “We were losing valuable clean drinking water underground and water is precious, so to have fixed the leak and improved the network is a great win”.

The Ballinamore find is just one example of how Irish Water is working with local authorities across the country every day to reduce leaks. As part of the National Leakage Reduction Programme, €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. This will ensure a safe, reliable water supply, which is vital for our health, our environment and our growing population and economy.

Irish Water continues to work with our local authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.

For more information, please visit our National Leakage Reduction Programme project page.