Upgrades to improve water supply and reduce leakage in Coolballow

27 April 2021

Homes and businesses in the Coolballow area of Wexford will soon enjoy a safer, more reliable water supply as Irish Water, working in partnership with Wexford County Council will begin works to replace approximately 2.1 kilometres of problematic water mains with polyethylene (plastic) pipes in early May.

In order to complete works safely and efficiently, a road closure of the Coolballow Road will be required for the duration of works from 08.00hrs to 17.00 hrs Mon – Fri. Local access will be maintained, however, traffic travelling south east/east will be diverted via Sinnotstown Lane toward the Rosslare Road. West and south west bound traffic will be diverted via the Rosslare road southbound to Sinnotstown Lane.

The new pipe is to be installed from the junction of the L3507-1 (Coolballow Rd) to the R-730-37 at Kerlogue Nursing Home and up to Starve Hall reservoir on the L-3506-3. When works reach the L-3506-3 further traffic management may be required and will be advertised closer to the date. Pipe installation, testing and switching of existing connections over to the newly installed water main will take approximately 20 weeks in total.

Coolballow is also an area of Archaeological importance and the attendance of an Archaeologist for a section of the dig close to a church site of the Knights Templar, graveyard and St James Well will be required.

These works are being carried out as part of Irish Water’s National Leakage Reduction Programme. Speaking about the works, Networks Programmes Regional Lead for Irish Water, Joe Carroll said;

We are delighted to be able to bring a more secure and reliable water supply to the residents and community of the Coolballow area. The benefits of these works will come by way of replacing water mains and service connections that will reduce the instances of bursts and the occurrences of water outages which will ensure a reliable supply of water to customers and local businesses in the area.

"This work will also eliminate existing leaks and reduce the amount of clean drinking water lost into the ground, which is hugely important. In 2018 the rate of leakage nationally was 46%, by the end of 2019 it was 42% and we are currently on course to achieving a national leakage rate of 38% by 2021. Additionally, on completion, the works will deliver cost savings by providing improved water network operation that will require less maintenance in the future. Finally, I would like to thank the residents for their patience as we carry out these essential works which will take about twenty weeks to complete. We should be finished in total in late September.

Eamonn Hore, Director of Services at Wexford County Council, stated that;

The replacement of the Coolballow watermain pipeline is very welcome news for consumers in the Wexford area. The existing pipework has been in place since the late 1970s and has failed regularly over the last number of years leading to frustration and water outages, not to mention the additional costs involved in repairing the pipe and roadway after each burst.

The replacement watermain has been designed by the Wexford County Council design team and will be delivered on site by Wexford County Council’s own pipe laying crew with the significant €0.5million investment from Irish Water.

Any planned water shut offs will be advised in advance to the affected consumers and a letter informing residents of the works has been delivered. Customers have been notified about the works and can phone Irish Water on 1800 278 278 if they have any questions about the project or check out the Supply and Service Updates section of our website for regular updates.

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 2021 to reduce leakage and replace old pipes on the water network.

Irish Water continues to work currently 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. Irish Water is working proactively with our delivery partners and as part of a multi-agency working group to ensure that our construction works are carried out in a controlled and safe manner, in keeping with Government and HSE guidelines to protect workers, their families and the broader community.