Irish Water, Ireland’s national water utility responsible for providing and developing water and wastewater services throughout Ireland, together with Donegal County Council has completed a much needed upgrade of water mains on the Lough Mourne Water Supply Scheme which serves 1,700 customers in the Finn Valley.
The section of pipeline which is located along the N15 National Road that links Ballybofey to Lifford, was identified as being in poor condition in Donegal County Council’s Water Conservation Rehabilitation Needs Report in February 2012. The original cast iron mains were constructed in 1951 and were no longer fit for purpose with a significant increase in bursts, ongoing repair costs, water discolouration issues and a regular disruption of supply to customers. Irish Water completed these works in tandem with a National Roads Authority (NRA) Road Pavement Strengthening Overlay contract. As a result construction costs were minimised and future disruption to road users eliminated by replacing the defective watermain during the road surfacing contract.
The completion of this project has resulted in a significant reduction in the level of leakage and burst frequency. 9 bursts occurred on this 1.6km section of water mains in the past 2 years alone, causing unacceptable supply disruptions for customers. The ongoing costs associated with repairing the bursts and the volume of water lost through leaks was also unsustainable.
Commenting on the announcement Eunan Canavan, Regional Capital Delivery Lead, Irish Water said; “Projects such as this one in Donegal highlight the poor condition of our supply network and the urgent need to invest in fixing and replacing old water mains across the country. The high level of service disruption on this water mains was unacceptable and resulted in large volumes of water being lost on a regular basis. We are delighted to have completed the works ahead of schedule, delivering much needed improvements in water quality and service for our customers.”
Irish Water invested €340m in improving water and waste water services in 2014 and will invest over €410 million in improving water services during 2015. This spend will increase over subsequent years. Capital investment in the region of €600m per year is required for a sustained period of several decades, to address the acknowledged deficiencies in the country’s water infrastructure.