Replacement of ageing water mains completed in Gortfada

Irish Water customers in the Gortfada area of Leitrim will be happy to learn that a problematic section of water main that was in need of replacement due to frequent bursts that caused water outages for locals has been replaced.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Leitrim County Council, has completed the replacement of approximately 1.4 kilometres of trunk water main which will help improve security of supply for customers and reduce high levels of leakage in the area.  

In thanking locals for their patience and cooperation while these essentials works were taking place, Irish Water’s Declan Cawley explained further what was involved: “Leitrim County Council, on behalf of Irish Water, have been carrying out regular repairs to this section of pipeline over the years and we were conscious of the disruption it was causing for local customers.

The section of problematic water main has now been replaced with a new, high density, polyethylene (plastic) pipe along the R202 from Gorafada to Cornagresha. Replacing this section of main helps us work towards providing a more reliable water supply for customers in the area. The works commenced in February and has just been completed and we are very grateful to the local community for their patience and cooperation while traffic management was in place. The project was completed by Farran’s Construction Ltd and we would like to thank them for their diligence throughout.

These types of mains replacement works are part of a significant investment by Irish Water to upgrade the water network in Leitrim. There was a history of bursts on this section of water main and successful completion of these works will benefit customers by strengthening and reinforcing the water network and minimising disruptions in their water supply by reducing leakage and unplanned outages when bursts occurred on the existing section of main. There will also be improvements in network performance and levels of customer service in terms of efficiency and security of supply. Works are currently ongoing to replace 600 metres of old, problematic water mains in Drumlitten that were also prone to frequent bursts and leakage and that project is progressing as scheduled.

These projects are examples of how Irish Water is working in partnership with Leitrim County Council to reduce leaks every day. Fixing leaks can be complicated with over 63,000km of water pipe in Ireland. Most leaks aren’t visible, resulting in precious water being lost but we are making progress. In 2018 the rate of leakage nationally was 46%, by the end of 2020 it was reduced to 40%, we are currently on course to achieving a national leakage rate of 38% by the end of 2021.

The National Leakage Reduction Programme helps provide a more reliable water supply to Irish communities by reducing high levels of leakage and improving water quality. Its delivery represents an investment of over €500 million between 2017 and the end of 2021 to reduce leakage and replace old pipes on the water network.

Irish Water continues to work at this time with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.

For more information on reducing leaks visit the National Leakage Reduction Programme section of our website.