Programme of works completed in Athlone

26 November 2021

Perched on the banks of the River Shannon, Athlone is the second most populated town in the Midlands and boasts some impressive shopping opportunities, a booming hospitality industry and a thriving business hub. In 2018, Irish Water recognised that Athlone had a high level of leakage with both homeowners and businesses experiencing regular and persistent water outages, and so began a targeted and intensive campaign to reduce leakage and improve their water supply. Since then, as a result of extensive investment and through the close partnership between Irish Water and Westmeath County Council, over 5 million litres of water has been saved daily across Athlone. That campaign is still going strong and safeguarding Athlone’s water supply remains one of Irish Water’s top priorities.

Having already undertaken a substantial amount of work in 2021 to drive down leakage, Irish Water, working in partnership with Westmeath County Council, has recently completed a further trench of works, replacing over 400 metres of old and broken water mains in the Retreat Heights area, reducing the number of bursts and water outages impacting customers. These works also involved laying new service connections from the public water main in the road to customers’ property boundaries and connecting it to the customers’ water supply. Where existing service connections on the public side were lead, these were also replaced as part of the upgrade works.  

Speaking about the project Matt Thomson, Leakage Reduction Programme Regional Lead with Irish Water, said: “The size and scale of the network issues in Athlone are well documented and still cause outages and disruptions but we are making huge progress. Reducing leakage is not just 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. Visible bursts on the pipes are easy to find and fix, but hidden, underground leaks are a bigger challenge.

Acknowledging the support of the local community, Matt added: “We would like to thank businesses, homeowners, commuters and visitors for their patience and cooperation while we worked to deliver these vital water network improvement works to safeguard the water supply in Athlone”.

Also underway is the replacement of 700 metres of old and problematic water mains from Coosan National School towards Coosan Point which is progressing well and due to be completed before year end. These improvement works together with the leakage savings and upgrade works across the town to date will safeguard the water supply in Athlone now and into the future, and support future growth and development for years to come.

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.