Irish Water in full flow tackling leakage across the Kingdom

21 June 2022

Kerry, one of Ireland’s gems. Majestic in its beauty and magnetic in its individuality. From Tarbert to Lauragh, Valentia Island to Baile an Fheirtéaraigh and beyond, homes and businesses across Kerry know the value of water. We turn our taps on every single day of the year to drink, cook, clean, and use on our farms to produce top quality foods. It is without doubt an integral part of everyday life. 

Sometimes however, we do take what comes through our taps for granted. 75 million litres of safe, clean, and reliable drinking water is produced every day in Kerry. That water flows through 3,000km of water mains across Kerry. 

The sources vary. It comes from lakes, rivers and boreholes around the county and makes its way to one of the many water treatment plants scattered around the whole of Kerry. 3,000km would bring you from Sneem to Stockholm, Kenmare to Kyiv or indeed is enough pipe to go around the entire coastline of Ireland. With the changeable topography, vast scale of the county and complexity of the underground network it is easy to understand that the daily management of system is a demanding task.

Unfortunately, a lot of this clean water is lost through leakage, but Irish Water is tackling leakage, and is making progress. In recent years, huge technological advancements have been made in the form of data collection and analysis in water networks across the Kingdom - this means that it’s now easier to find those leaks and fix them. The delivery of the National Leakage Reduction Programme is ensuring security of supply, reducing leakage, and putting sustainable water supply at the heart of the Kerry water network. 

Paul Moroney, Programme Manager with Irish Waters Leakage Reduction Programme tells us;

Irish Water and Kerry County Council have made great strides in reducing leakage across the County. We use improved data to strategically target leakage and have tackled replacement of several major water mains also. In Tralee alone, leakage rates have almost halved from 13 million litres of water per day to a current rate 6.5 million litres of water per day. 

It’s super progress but we’re not finished there! Together we look at ways to supply smarter and reduce leakage across the county. We would like to again thank the local communities where we work for their continued patience and cooperation to deliver these conservation efforts for everyone’s benefit.

Every day, Irish Water and Kerry County Council experts monitor treated water flowing across the county. Together, they identify areas where there are leaks and plan how best to reduce the amount of treated drinking water that is being lost daily.

Irish Water and Kerry County Council are also progressing their ‘Find and Fix’ programme in Kerry, with over 900 leaks repaired under this programme since its commencement. Almost 230kms of new watermains have been replaced in the county in this time. That equates to approximately the distance from Waterville to Tarbert and back again. Current watermain rehabilitation projects are ongoing in several locations countywide including Ashill and the Board of Works Road in Beaufort. Works have also been recently completed at Oakpark Road, Farranfore and Blennerville in Tralee. Almost 465 leaks have been repaired through Irish Water’s First Fix Free scheme. Savings of 20 million litres have been achieved in the county through the combination of these conservation initiatives.  

Paul Neary Senior Engineer in Water Services at Kerry County Council says;

All across the County Irish Water and Kerry County Council have worked in close collaboration over the past number of years to reduce leakage levels, with great success. There have been significant obstacles to overcome with some of the dated and fragile infrastructure and aged monitoring equipment to measure flows, to name a few. 

Identifying priority locations for investment has meant that the associated improvement works are proving critical in resolving major disruption being faced by homes and businesses in certain parts of the kingdom. Every day, the lives of people across the county are being improved by our collaborative efforts to provide a safer and more reliable water supply. 

The water main replacement works alone across Kerry are being delivered on an unprecedented scale. The works can be disruptive in the short term, but we are seeing many positive results of which the people of Kerry will benefit from now and into the future.

Work continues every day to reduce leakage across county Kerry and great savings have been made so far. Irish Water is committed to continuing this work in partnership with Kerry County Council.