Works progress to improve Bray water supply

31 May 2021

Known as the Gateway to the Garden of Ireland, Bray is the largest town in Co Wicklow and both a thriving urban centre and popular seaside resort.

Safeguarding the water supply in Bray is a vital focus for Irish Water and, in partnership with Wicklow County Council, is continuing its efforts to improve the water supply in the town with further works planned as part of its programme to drive down leakage and reduce the number of bursts and unplanned outages impacting the community. These works continue to be delivered in adherence with current HSE and government COVID-19 advice.

The current phase of works involves replacing backyard service connections which is key to reducing leakage in the area. Backyard services are found in older areas, often installed to the rear of a customer’s property and typically made of cast iron or lead. Due to the age and deteriorating condition of the pipework, they are often a significant source of leakage and supply disruption for customers. Backyard services are usually shared, running through a number of neighbouring properties making it difficult to detect and repair leaks. Since all properties share a connection, leaks and bursts affect all properties, usually resulting in low pressure.

Since January, leakage reduction crews have already successfully completed works in a number of areas in Bray including Fr Colahan Terrace, Edward Road, Dwyer Park, and Ballywaltrim Cottages. Over 80 properties in these areas were removed from aging and problematic backyard services, made up of cast iron & lead, providing customers with a much improved water supply. Irish Water would like to thank customers in these areas who facilitated and assisted in the provision of our back yard services programme which has not only resulted in significant water savings but has also reduced the number of bursts and outages impacting customers in these communities.

Speaking about the benefits of the project, Joe Carroll, Leakage Reduction Programme Regional Lead with Irish Water, said, “Replacing these old, damaged pipes will reduce the instances of bursts and water outages and provide a more secure and reliable water supply for customers in these areas. We would like to thank the local residents for engaging with us, supporting our vision and helping us deliver these vital network improvement works to safeguard the water supply in Bray”.  

Following the success of these works, Irish Water continues to replace old backyard services in the town with works on a number of properties already under way in the Palermo area which was prone to significant leakage & poor water pressure. The works may involve some short-term water shut-offs, however, the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours’ notice prior to any planned disruptions. To facilitate the safe delivery of these works, some traffic management may be necessary, however, local and emergency traffic will be maintained at all times. The works are being carried out by Ward & Burke Construction Ltd in partnership with Wicklow County Council on behalf of Irish Water.

Noel Doody, Water Inspector with Wicklow County Council, added, “As a result of the collaborative work between Irish Water and Wicklow County Council, many customers in Bray are enjoying a more reliable water supply. The works undertaken are benefiting customers in the area by reducing interruptions to supply and improving water quality. The decommissioning of these old backyard water pipes will contribute to safeguarding the water supply in Bray and reduce water lost to leakage. We would like to join in thanking the community for their patience during the works of which the benefits will be seen for many years.

Irish Water continues to work in partnership with local authorities across Ireland to reduce leaks every day. As part of Irish Water’s national Leakage Reduction Programme, €500 million is being invested up to the end of 2021 to reduce the level of leakage across the country by fixing and replacing old and damaged water mains. This will ensure a safe, reliable water supply which is vital for our health, our environment and our growing population and economy. For more information, please visit the National Leakage Reduction Programme section of 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.

Old and new pipes