Upgrades to improve water supply in Falcarragh-Gortahork now complete

30 March 2021

Tá sean-phríomhlíonra uisce fabhtach 7km ar fad, nó mar sin, athsholáthartha ag Uisce Éireann ag obair i gcomhpháirtíocht le Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall, agus sin ar fud cheantair an Fháil Charraigh agus Ghort an Choirce. A bhuí leis na hoibreacha sin, áiritheofar go mbeidh an soláthar uisce níos iontaofa ná mar a bhí agus go laghdófar na hardleibhéil sceite a tharla sa cheantar go n-uige seo.

Ag labhairt dó faoi na hoibreacha, dúirt Declan Cawley, Ceann Réigiúnach Chlár Laghdaithe Sceite Náisiúnta Uisce Éireann: “Bhí na hoibreacha sin ina gcuid d’infheistíocht mhór ó Uisce Éireann chun an líonra uisce a uasghrádú i nDún na nGall. Tá lúcháir orm a dhearbhú go bhfuil na hoibreacha uile a bhaineann le hathsholáthar an phríomhlíonra uisce curtha i gcrích anois. Rinneadh oibreacha go forleathan agus bhí sé cinn de shuíomhanna tosaíochta san áireamh iontu, agus Gort an Choirce, an Fál Carrach, Port Uí Chuireáin, Calhaem/an Sruthán, an Ardaidh Bheag agus Doire Chonaire san áireamh.

Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Declan freisin: “Ní féidir an tábhacht a bhaineann le hathsholáthar an phríomhlíonra uisce sna ceantair sin, agus é chomh fabhtach sin, a mheas faoina luach. Trí na seanphíopaí damáistithe sin a athsholáthar, laghdófar na teagmhais de phíopaí pléasctha agus de bhristeacha sa soláthar uisce. Ina theannta sin, cosnófar an soláthar uisce do theaghlaigh agus do ghnólachtaí sa cheantar de thoradh an phríomhlíonra uisce nua agus na nasc seirbhíse nua. Tá fíorthábhacht leis na feabhsuithe sin ar an líonra uisce chun soláthar uisce atá sábháilte, slán agus iontaofa a áirithiú san am i láthair agus san am atá le teacht araon.”

Dúirt Declan freisin: “De dheasca na n-oibreacha, bhí roinnt bristeach ann sa soláthar uisce ar feadh tréimhsí gairide agus bhí bearta bainistithe tráchta i bhfeidhm lena linn freisin agus tuigimid go gcuireann a leithéid isteach ar an bpobal áitiúil. Mar sin féin, ba mhaith linn an deis seo a thapú chun ár mbuíochas a ghabháil leis na custaiméirí agus leis na gnólachtaí as bheith foighneach linn fad a chuireamar na hoibreacha fíorthábhachtacha sin i ndáil le hathsholáthar an phríomhlíonra uisce i gcrích.

Ó mhí Mheán Fómhair 2019, rinneadh oibreacha i roinnt suíomhanna i gceantair an Fháil Charraigh agus Ghort an Choirce mar chuid den Chlár Laghdaithe Sceite. Idir mí Mheán Fómhair 2019 agus mí an Mheithimh 2020, athsholáthraíodh príomhlíonra uisce fabhtach 2km ar fad, nó mar sin, i nGort an Choirce agus príomhlíonra uisce fabhtach 1.5km ar fad, nó mar sin, san Fhál Carrach. Sa dara leath de 2020, athsholáthraíodh príomhlíonra uisce a bhí breis is 1km ar fad i bPort Uí Chuireáin agus príomhlíonra uisce 724 méadar ar fad i gCalhaem/sa Sruthán. I mí na Samhna 2020, cuireadh tús le hoibreacha chun príomhlíonra uisce 610 méadar ar fad agus 1.1km ar fad a athsholáthar san Ardaidh Bheag agus i nDoire Chonaire faoi seach, agus cuireadh na hoibreacha sin i gcrích i mí an Mhárta 2021.

Bhain na hoibreacha sin leis an sean-phríomhlíonra uisce a dhíchoimisiúnú agus le píopaí poileitiléine ard-dlúis (plaisteach) a chur ina ionad. Rinne Farrans Construction Ltd na hoibreacha sin mar chuid de Chlár Laghdaithe Sceite Náisiúnta Uisce Éireann.

Bhain na hoibreacha le naisc seirbhíse uisce nua a leagan síos freisin ón bpríomhlíonra uisce poiblí sa bhóthar chuig teorainneacha réadmhaoine na gcustaiméirí agus é a nascadh le soláthar uisce na gcustaiméirí. Mar chuid de na hoibreacha feabhsaithe sin, athsholáthraíodh na príomhnaisc seirbhíse reatha ar thaobh an phobail.

Agus é ag machnamh ar thábhacht na n-oibreacha don cheantar, dúirt Eugene Allen, Innealtóir Seirbhísí Uisce le Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall: “De bharr na hoibre comhoibríche idir Uisce Éireann agus Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall, tá soláthar uisce níos sláine agus níos iontaofa ag custaiméirí i gceantair an Fháil Charraigh agus Ghort an Choirce. Rachaidh an tionscadal chun tairbhe do chustaiméirí cónaithe agus do chustaiméirí gnó sa cheantar ach feabhas a chur ar cháilíocht an uisce, agus ar an líonra uisce, agus laghdú a dhéanamh ar na teagmhais de chur isteach ar an soláthar uisce, ar na rátaí sceite agus ar bhristeacha neamhbheartaithe sa soláthar a bhaineann le píopaí pléasctha. Trí na hoibreacha sin a chur i gcrích, feabhsófar éifeachtúlachtaí oibríochtúla freisin tríd an ngá le deisiúcháin rialta, a bhain leis an sean-phíomhlíonra uisce fabhtach, a laghdú. Cosnófar an soláthar uisce trí na seanphíopaí sin a athsholáthar agus beidh tionchar dearfach aige sin ar sceitheadh agus ar shaol an phobail áitiúil.

Is sampla amháin den obair atá á déanamh againn i gcomhpháirtíocht le Comhairle Contae Dhún na nGall é an tionscadal sin, agus sin chun sceitheadh a laghdú gach lá. Is féidir gur casta an beart é sceitheadh a dheisiú, agus píopaí uisce os cionn 63,000 km ar fad in Éirinn. Ní féidir formhór na dteagmhas de sceitheadh a fheiceáil, rud a fhágann go mbíonn uisce luachmhar á chailleadh, ach tá dul chun cinn á dhéanamh againn. In 2018, b’ionann an ráta sceite náisiúnta agus 46%, faoi dheireadh 2019 b’ionann é agus 42% agus tá an chuma ar an scéal go mbeidh ráta sceite náisiúnta 38% againn faoi 2021.

Tá an Clár Laghdaithe Sceite Náisiúnta ina chuidiú chun soláthar uisce níos iontaofa a sholáthar don phobal in Éirinn, ardleibhéil sceite a laghdú agus cáilíocht an uisce a fheabhsú. Fágann tabhairt i gcrích an Chláir go mbeidh suim is mó ná €500 milliún á hinfheistiú idir 2017 agus 2021 chun sceitheadh a laghdú agus seanphíopaí a athsholáthar ar an líonra uisce.

Tá faisnéis bhreise faoi Chlár Laghdaithe Sceite Uisce Éireann ar fáil freisin ar ár láithreán gréasáin.

Leanann Uisce Éireann de bheith ag obair lena chomhpháirtithe san Údarás Áitiúil, leis na conraitheoirí agus le daoine eile chun sláinte agus folláine na foirne agus an phobail araon a chosaint agus chun leanúnachas seirbhísí criticiúla uisce óil agus fuíolluisce a áirithiú. Ba mhaith le hUisce Éireann a mheabhrú do dhaoine an chomhairle faoi COVID-19 ó FSS a leanúint agus deimhin a dhéanamh de go nífidh siad a lámha go minic.

Irish Water, working in partnership with Donegal County Council, have replaced approximately 7km of old problematic water mains throughout the Falcarragh-Gortahork area. Such works will ensure the provision of a more reliable water supply and reduction in the high levels of leakage experienced in the area.

Speaking about the works, Irish Water’s National Leakage Reduction Programme Regional Lead, Declan Cawley said: “These works formed part of a significant investment by Irish Water to upgrade the water network in Donegal. I am delighted to confirm that all water mains replacement works are now complete. Works were widespread and included six priority locations including Gortahork, Falcarragh, Curransport, Calheam/An Sruthàn, Ardsbeg and Derryconner.

Declan continued: “The importance of replacing such problematic water mains in these areas cannot be underestimated. Replacing these old, damaged pipes will reduce the instances of bursts and water outages and the new water mains and service connections will safeguard the water supply for homes and businesses in the area. These improvements to the water network are essential in providing a safe, secure and reliable water supply, now and into the future.

Declan added: “The works did involve some short-term water shut offs and traffic management measures which we understand causes inconvenience to local communities. However, we would like to take this opportunity to thank customers and businesses for their patience while we completed these essential water main replacement works.’’

Since September 2019 works have been undertaken in several locations in the Falcarragh – Gorrtahork areas as part of the Leakage Reduction Programme. Between September 2019 and June 2020, almost 2km of problematic water mains in Gortahork and 1.5km of water mains in Falcarragh were replaced. In the latter half of 2020, over 1km of water mains in Curransport and 724 metres of water mains in the Calheam/An Sruthàn area were replaced. In November 2020, works commenced replacing 610 metres of water mains in Ardsbeg and 1.1km in Derryconner, such works were recently completed in March 2021.

These works involved the decommissioning of old problematic water mains and replacing them with high density polyethylene (plastic) pipes. The works were carried out as part of Irish Water’s National Leakage Reduction Programme by Farran’s Construction Ltd.

The works also involved 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. As part of these improvement works existing lead service connections on the public side were replaced.

Reflecting on the importance of the works for the area Eugene Allen, Water Services Engineer with Donegal County Council, said: “As a result of the collaborative work between Irish Water and Donegal County Council, customers in Falcarragh-Gortahork area are enjoying a more secure and reliable water supply. The project will benefit residential and business customers in the area by improving water quality, improving the water network, reducing disruptions to water supply, reducing leakage rates and unplanned outages associated with bursts. Completion of these works will also improve operational efficiencies by reducing the need for frequent repairs associated with old problematic water mains. The replacement of these old pipes will safeguard the water supply and have a positive impact on leakage and the daily lives of the local community.

This project is one example of how we are working in partnership with Donegal County Council to reduce leaks every day. Fixing leaks can be complicated with over 63,000 km 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 2019 it was 42% and we are currently on course to achieve a national leakage rate of 38% by 2021.

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

Further information on Irish Water’s Leakage Reduction Programme is also available on our website.

Irish Water continues to work 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.