Glass half full - Our commitment to Cork City reduces leakage by over 50%

04 September 2023

Over 17 million litres of water being saved every day across the city.

Cork City is home to over 200,000 people and Uisce Éireann is committed to enabling homes and businesses across the city to thrive by providing a more secure and sustainable water supply. To further improve the city’s water supply, Uisce Éireann continues to carry out substantial water network works across the city that only occur once in several generations. 

As part of the National Leakage Reduction Programme, Uisce Éireann is now saving over 17 million litres of water, as a result of these upgrade works and finding and fixing leaks, representing a 50% reduction in leakage. This is the equivalent of over four times the daily household water usage of Cobh.

It is a complex process to turn the water from our rivers, lakes and groundwater into clean drinking water and deliver it safely to each customer’s tap. Water flows through approximately 600km of watermains across Cork City, enough pipeline to bring you from Douglas to the Giants Causeway. Understandably the daily management of such a system is a demanding task. Unfortunately, a lot of this clean drinking water is lost through leakage as the city continues to rely heavily on a network that is over 100 years old. Due to the age and deteriorating condition of the pipes, they are occasionally prone to bursts and leakages, resulting in low pressure, water outages and discolouration.

The challenge of driving down leakage is momentous due to the vast and complex network of pipes below the ground, but with technological advancements in recent years, along with the ability to gather watermain performance data, we are making progress.

Speaking on the success of the Leakage Reduction Programme to date, Kevin Murphy from Uisce Éireann said: “Reducing leakage is not only about replacing old pipes or fixing bursts; it involves detailed planning, collaboration and a number of different work streams which will make the most impact on leakage levels in a given area. As part of the National Leakage Reduction Programme, Cork City has seen millions of euro worth of investment to secure, replace and develop water services which are the backbone of a thriving local economy. I want to acknowledge the co-operation and patience of local residents and businesses while we these works are ongoing. Any short-term inconvenience to deliver water services for Cork City is outweighed by the benefits that current and future generations will enjoy for years to come." 

Brian McCarthy, Cork City Council Senior Resident Engineer, added: “People often underestimate the complexity of fixing leaks. These are complex projects that involve working around several underground services such as gas, telecoms and electricity. As a result of the close collaboration between Cork City Council and Uisce Éireann, homes and businesses are enjoying a more secure and reliable water supply. The works undertaken through the National Leakage Reduction Programme will benefit customers by strengthening and reinforcing the water network, reducing leaks and unplanned interruptions." 

Uisce Éireann is responsible for delivering public drinking water and wastewater services for the people of Ireland. We are committed to enabling communities to thrive by continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support sustainable growth and development, providing safe drinking water, and enhancing the environment. Click here to find out more.