Works continue to drive down leakage in Athlone

12 August 2021

Securing the water supply in Athlone remains a vital focus and Irish Water is continuing with efforts to drive down leakage and secure the water supply for customers. Irish Water, working in partnership with Westmeath County Council, is progressing with further water main replacement works in Athlone, to improve the security of supply and reduce high levels of leakage in the area.

The works will involve the replacement of over 400 metres of old and broken water mains in the Retreat Heights area of the town with new, high density polyethylene (plastic) pipes which will reduce the number of bursts and water outages and will ensure a reliable supply of water to customers and local businesses. 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 customer’s water supply. Where existing service connections on the public side are lead these will be replaced as part of this improvement work.

To minimise the impact on customers, areas of work will be limited to short sections. Traffic management may be in place during this time to facilitate the safe delivery of these works, however, local and emergency access will be maintained. The works may involve some short-term supply disruptions which we understand may cause inconvenience. The project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours’ notice prior to any planned water outages. Irish Water and Westmeath County Council regret any inconvenience these improvement works may cause.

The works, which are scheduled to begin in mid-August, will be carried out on behalf of Irish Water by GMC Utilities and are expected to be completed by the end of September. These essential works will be delivered in adherence with the HSE and government guidance on COVID-19.

Speaking about the project Matt Thomson, Leakage Reduction Programme Regional Lead with Irish Water said: “We understand that this type of work can be inconvenient and will ensure our work crews make every effort to minimise any disruption these works may cause. We would like to thank the local community, businesses, homeowners and commuters for their patience and cooperation while we deliver these vital water network improvement works to safeguard the water supply in Athlone”.

The Irish Water 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 of our website.

As a result of leakage reduction works and through the close partnership between Irish Water, Westmeath County Council and GMC Utilities, over 5 million litres of water has been saved daily across Athlone, and no planned restrictions have been necessary since 2019. 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 40% and we are currently on course to achieving a national leakage rate of 38% by the end of 2021. For more information, please visit the National Leakage Reduction Programme section of our website.

Irish Water is working 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 current HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.