Major upgrades to the water network in Rathgar

07 July 2022

Dublin 6 is home to the bustling neighbourhoods of Harold's Cross, Milltown, Ranelagh, Rathgar, Rathmines and Terenure, all offering many amenities from local cafes, pubs and restaurants to yoga studios, scenic parks and public transport. Most of the areas are within walking distance of St Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street in Dublin City Centre, making them popular destinations for both commercial and residential customers.  

Safeguarding the water supply in Dublin 6 continues to be an important focus for Irish Water with a programme of improvement works set to get underway in the coming days in Rathgar to drive down leakage and improve water quality and supply. The project represents a significant investment by Irish Water and involves the replacement of over 1.5km of old cast-iron water mains with new modern pipes that will immediately improve water quality and reduce the instances of bursts, outages and low pressure affecting customers. The majority of the works will take place on Rathgar Avenue, progressing North via Harold’s Cross Road, and finishing at the junction of Mount Drummond Avenue. In order to facilitate the project, a second work site will also be active on Mount Drummond Avenue.

In February, Irish Water, working in partnership with Dublin City Council, completed a major programme of works to replace over 1.7km of old and problematic cast iron water mains on Orwell Rd and Churchtown Road Lower with customers already enjoying a more reliable water supply and improved water quality. Cast iron water mains over time can become encrusted and can affect water quality and pressure. New, modern pipework installed as part of these improvement works have significantly reduced water quality issues that were impacting the local community as well as reducing the number of bursts and outages.  

Highlighting the importance of this major project for the area, Matt Thomson, Leakage Reduction Programme Regional Lead with Irish Water, said, “We are very aware of the water supply issues impacting customers in this area of Dublin. Replacing these old and damaged pipes which have a long history of bursting, causing outages and low pressure to customers, will not only reduce the amount of drinking water lost to leakage, it will also significantly improve water quality for the local community as well as delivering a much more reliable supply for generations to come."

On behalf of Irish Water, I’d like thank the local residents and businesses in advance for their patience and cooperation as there may be some disruption in the short term, however, based on previous experiences, we know that this will be overshadowed by the longer-term benefits.”

To minimise the impact on customers, areas of work will be limited to short sections and some traffic management will be necessary, however, local and emergency access will be maintained. The works also involve laying new water service connections from the public water main in the road to customers’ property boundaries and connecting it to the customer’s water supply. The works may involve some short-term supply interruptions which we understand may cause inconvenience, however, the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours’ notice prior to any planned water interruptions. The works will be carried out on behalf of Irish Water by GMC Utilities Group and are expected to be completed by the end of September.

Fixing leaks can be complicated but we are making progress. In 2018 the rate of leakage nationally was 46%, by the end of 2021 it was reduced to 38%.  We are on track to achieve a national leakage rate of 32% by the end of 2024. For more information, please visit the National Leakage Reduction Programme page of our website.

The Irish Water customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1800 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries. For updates please visit the Supply and Service Updates section of the Irish Water website.

Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of all public water and wastewater services in Ireland. We are committed to continuously upgrading and developing critical infrastructure to support the growth needed in housing and across our economy, while protecting the environment and safeguarding water supplies.