Leakage Reduction Programme

We are undertaking a national programme of works to reduce leakage and improve our water supply. This programme will see over €500 million invested in the public water network over the next four years. 

Water loss in the network

This programme will reduce leaks by fixing or replacing old, damaged pipes and will remove lead pipes from the public water network. 

1.7 billion litres of drinking water
distributed every day

Enough water supply pipes
to circle the Earth

Almost half of our water is
lost through leakage

The target is to save approximately 166 million litres of water per day – that’s enough water to fill 66 Olympic-size swimming pools every day.

Benefits

A reliable water supply

Fixing or replacing old, damaged pipes will improve the reliability of the public water network, providing a secure and sustainable water supply for everyone

Improved water quality

Removing old cast iron and lead pipes from the public water network and replacing them with plastic (polyethylene) pipes will reduce the risk of contamination.

Reduced leaks

Repairing or replacing old pipes will reduce the amount of treated water lost through leakage from 47% to 38% by the end of 2021. It will also reduce disruptions and the overall cost of running the water network.

Improved supply connections

Replacing shared service and backyard connections with individual supply pipes will help to bring our network in line with international standards. The installation of boundary boxes will provide accessible isolation points in case of emergency and allow for flow and pressure monitoring.

How the programme will be rolled out

1. Survey

We will carry out surveys in specific areas where we suspect there may be issues with the network.

2. Plan the work

Once we have identified what work needs to be carried out, we will carefully plan the works to renew or replace the problematic pipework and reduce levels of leakage.

3. Notify residents

All homeowners and residents who may be impacted by supply interruptions will be notified in advance by letter. Our Supply & Services Updates page will also list any planned interruptions.

4. Carry out works

We will ensure that the works are carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible.

See what improvements are happening in your area

View Our Projects

What is involved

The Leakage Reduction Programme involves a number of different types of work to be carried out across the country. 

Find & Fix

The Find & Fix scheme involves leak detection crews undertaking surveys using sounding equipment on footpaths and other public areas. If a public side leak is identified, Irish Water will carry out the repairs. Some water mains renewal works may be required as part of these repairs.

Water mains renewal

Water mains renewal works usually include the replacement or renewal of ageing public water mains to improve water quality and supply. As our water pipes are underground, we need to dig down to inspect the pipes and carry out any necessary repairs or replacements.

Shared service connections

A shared service connection means that two or more properties are fed by a single water pipe. These connections pipes are often made of iron or lead and prone to leaks.

Backyard service connections

In some older properties water connections may be installed to the back of the property and run through customer’s back gardens. These connections are prone to leaks and can cause reduced levels of service and poor water pressure.

Lead service pipe replacement

Lead in drinking water is a recognised health concern. We will be investigating the pipes that connect individual properties to the public water mains and replacing any lead pipes with new plastic pipes.

First Fix Free Scheme

The First Fix Free scheme offers free leak investigations and free repairs for qualifying properties where a constant flow of water is found on the external water supply pipe.

How the works may impact you

We understand that this type of work can be inconvenient and we will make every effort to minimise disruption. We will ensure to keep you informed as the work progresses.

If we are working in your area the following may happen:

  • The road or the area near your home may be excavated to allow us access to the pipes underground.
  • We may need to shut off your water supply for multiple periods of time to allow us to carry out the work, but we will always notify you at least 48 hours in advance of a planned interruption.
  • If access to your driveway or footpath is restricted we will ensure you have safe pedestrian access to and from your home.
  • If you have special access needs, such as disabled car parking or large delivery lorries, please contact us. 
  • We will ensure the path or road is reinstated following the work and that all works are carried out as efficiently as possible.
  • Where full reinstatement is not possible directly after the works, some surfaces may be covered with temporary materials, with full reinstatement taking place no later than 20 days after the works being completed.
  • If there are road closures or works on the road near you, a traffic management plan will be put in place to minimise disruption.

View up to date information on the water supply in your area.

Priority customers

If you are critically dependent on water for medical needs and have not registered as a priority customer with Irish Water, please call us on 1850 448 448 or register online through our vulnerable customer registration form. An alternative water supply arrangement will be made for you, if required.

Stay Safe

Irish Water staff and any contractors working on Irish Water’s behalf are trained to always identify who they are and who they are representing. They will always carry an identity card and you should ask to see this before allowing anyone to enter your home. If you are unsure or suspicious, please refuse access and call us on 1800 278 278 to verify their identity.

For more information, visit our dedicated web page.

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