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Portlaoise Backyard Services - St. John's Square

National Leakage Reduction Programme

Uisce Éireann, in partnership with Laois County Council, is replacing ageing back yard water mains and providing new service connections for customers in St. John's Square, Portlaoise, Co Laois to improve security of supply, improve water quality and reduce high levels of leakage.

In some older properties water connections, typically made of iron or lead, were installed to the rear of the property and are often referred to as backyard service connections. The pipework due to age and deteriorating condition are a significant source of leakage and reduced levels of service. Back yard 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.

These works will be carried out by Ward & Burke Construction Ltd on behalf of Uisce Éireann.

Leakage reduction
A worker working with pipes at night time


A reliable water supply

  • Replacing the ageing water mains and service connections and will reduce the instances of bursts and water outages on Patricks Street and Chapel Avenue and will ensure a reliable supply of water to customers and local businesses in the area

Improved water quality

  • Removing existing old cast iron and lead from the public water network and replacing them with new pipes will reduce the risk of contamination

Reduced leaks

  • Replacing the old water mains and service connections will eliminate existing leaks and reduce the amount of clean drinking water lost into the ground

Improved operation and maintenance

  • These works will deliver cost savings by providing improved water network operation that will require less maintenance in the future


  • The works on St John's Square involve the decommissioning of problematic old cast iron back yard water services
  • New water mains have already been constructed along the public road in this area and therefore works only require new service connections to be installed from the new water main to each customer's property
  • It is likely that the service connections from the old back yard main are currently made from lead
  • New connections will be constructed with modern high density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic pipes to ensure a safer, more reliable supply of water to customers in this community

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