Water mains rehabilitation works begin ahead of public realm enhancement project

26 April 2022

Drinking water leakage issues are to be water under the bridge in central Ennis as the town gets ready for a makeover. With Clare County Council due to progress with the towns exciting public realm enhancement project, Irish Water are set to commence vital infrastructure upgrades ahead of these improvements. 

Before all that works gets underway, Irish Water will replace aged watermains at High Street, Bank Place, O’Connell Square and O’Connell Street, to provide a more reliable water supply, reduce high levels of leakage and improve water quality.

The works, being carried out as part of Irish Water’s National Leakage Reduction Programme, involve the replacement of over 680m of aged cast iron watermains with new modern pipes and is a continuation of the works successfully completed on Parnell Street in 2019. The programme to replace the watermains is due to commence in mid-May.  

The upgrade of the water network, being carried out by Shareridge Ltd. on behalf of Irish Water, is being completed ahead of the Clare County Council public realm regeneration works in the area. The section of works will take place from High Street through O’Connell Square/Bank Place to Station Road until mid-August. 

Gerry O’Donnell, Leakage Reduction Programme Regional Lead with Irish Water, said, “The benefits from this project will be significant, by improving water quality, reducing leakage and overall providing a more reliable water supply in the town centre. The works will also support the progress of the Public Realm Enhancement Project being carried out by Clare County Council. 

 “We are aware that works of this nature can cause some disruption. We would like to assure the public that, together with Clare County Council and our contractor, Shareridge Ltd., we will be closely liaising and engaging with local businesses and residents to minimise any inconvenience over the course of the works.

Local businesses in the area are being contacted and briefed on the planned works. Throughout the project, deliveries will be facilitated through a dedicated liaison officer for the project. 

We are happy to be delivering these water network improvement works ahead of the planned public realm works and making a positive contribution to the development of Ennis both socially and economically.” 

Cllr Ann Norton, Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, said, “I am pleased to welcome the commencement of the water infrastructure upgrades ahead of work getting underway on the next phase of the Ennis Public Realm Regeneration. These water network upgrades will help to provide a more reliable supply, reduce leakage and improve water quality in our town.

The next phase of the regeneration of the Ennis Public Realm follows the successful completion of the first phase of works at Parnell Street, laneways, and bow-ways, in 2020 and 2021. The Ennis Public Realm Regeneration will significantly enhance the town for the benefit of traders, visitors and the local community and will result in the rejuvenation of the town centre environment, making it a more attractive destination in which to spend time.

Senior Engineer with Clare County Council, Sean Lenihan, said, “We are delighted to be working with Irish Water and other stakeholders on these critical advance works which will future proof utility service demands in the area.  All parties have put in extensive effort to streamline and coordinate the works to ensure inconvenience and disruption to traders and the general public is kept to an absolute minimum.  Unfortunately, given the nature of the engineering and civil works required, there will be some disturbance.  This is regrettable but unavoidable.   

Following these works, a Clare County Council appointed Contractor will commence on the Public Realm works which will also be carried out on a phased section by section basis.  We will be engaging further with the Business Community and other interested stakeholders in advance of same, again with a view to minimising and mitigating inconvenience and disturbance.

Areas of work will be limited to short sections to minimise impact on customers and businesses near the works. O’Connell Street will be closed to through traffic for a period of the works however deliveries and associated services will be facilitated for the duration. 

The works may involve some short-term interruptions to the water supply. The project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours’ notice prior to any planned interruption. 

We understand that this type of work can be inconvenient. Works crews will make every effort to minimise any disruption these necessary works cause.

The works will also involve laying new water service connections from the public water main in the road to customers’ property boundaries and connecting it to the customers’ water supply.

Irish Water’s 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 or set your location on our website.

Since 2018, Irish Water has invested over €500 million to upgrade the underground water network across the country through the delivery of the Leakage Reduction Programme. We are investing a further €600 million up to the end of 2024 - fixing leaks and replacing pipes to provide a more reliable water supply.