National Leakage Reduction Programme

Much of Ireland’s drinking water is lost to leaks before it reaches our taps. To conserve this precious resource, we have invested over €500 million up to the end of 2021 and are investing a further €250 million every year up to the end of 2030 in fixing leaks to provide a more reliable water supply.

The challenge of leaks so far

Every day we currently lose about 38% of our treated water through leaks before it even reaches our taps. Leaks can be difficult to find because they happen in the vast and complex network of pipes below ground. Many of these pipes are now old and damaged and need to be repaired or replaced to improve our water quality and supply. Despite the challenges, we are making progress. In 2018 the rate of leakage nationally was 46%, by the end of 2020 it was 40%. By the end of 2021 we have further reduced leakage to 38%. We are on track to achieve a national leakage rate of 25% by the end of 2030.

63,000

Kilometres of water network

200+

Leak repair experts on the ground fixing leaks

2,000

Leaks are fixed every month

166m

Litres of water saved daily by the end of 2021

Our plan for Ireland

As part of the national Leakage Reduction Programme, we're working with Local Authorities across the country to repair bursts and fix underground leaks. Our leakage reduction crews are working hard to find and fix leaks nationwide to provide a more reliable water supply. View our videos below to find out more about the Leakage Reduction Programme and what we’re doing to reduce leakage across Ireland.

We've saved millions of litres of drinking water daily

By the end of 2021 we’ve saved 166 million litres of water daily.

That’s enough water to fill 66 Olympic-size swimming pools every day.

We’re on track to save a further 200 million litres of water daily by the end of 2030.

That’s enough water to fill another 80 Olympic-size swimming pools every day.

How we're reducing leakage across Ireland

There are different types of work streams involved in the Leakage Reduction Programme which collectively drive leakage down.

First Fix Free

We offer free leak investigations and repairs where a constant flow of water is found on a customers' external water supply pipe.

Read more on First Fix Free

Find & Fix

The Find & Fix scheme involves leak detection experts using underground sound equipment in public areas to locate and repair leaks.

Watch the Find & Fix video

Mains Replacement

We have a strategic plan to replace old and problematic water mains across the country. It takes time and expertise to design and replace water pipes which are underground with other services like, gas, sewerage, electricity and telecoms. These works can be disruptive, but we are making progress.

Lead Replacement

Lead in drinking water is a recognised health concern. We are replacing all public-side lead pipes that connect individual properties to the public water mains.

Read more on Lead Replacement

Pressure Management

An important way to reduce leakage is to measure and manage water pressure on the public network. Where pressure is required to be balanced, specialised valves are fitted to the public water pipes.

Watch the video on Pressure Management

District Meter Area Establishment

Water flow is measured in specific areas on the network to identify the levels of leakage. Where high levels are shown, we direct crews to these areas to locate the underground leaks.

Watch the video on Water Flow

Business Meter Replacement

To ensure business meters are operating effectively, we survey the condition of existing meters, ensuring the correct models are in place and carry out replacements where needed.

Read more on Business Meter Replacement

Backyard Service replacement

In some older properties water connections were installed to the rear of the property. They are usually shared, running through several neighbouring properties. Leaks and bursts affect all properties and usually result in low pressure.

Leakage Reduction Programme benefits

A more reliable water supply

Fixing and replacing old, damaged pipes prone to bursts, reducing disruption and outages for customers.

Improved water quality

Reducing health risks and contamination by replacing aging, damaged cast iron and lead pipes.

Reducing high levels of leakage

Reducing the amount of clean drinking water lost into the ground by replacing old, damaged pipes.

Individual water connections

Reducing disruptions by replacing shared and back yard services with new, individual supply connections.

Case studies

Read in more detail how we’re fixing leaks across the country to provide a more reliable water supply.

The Story of Water

‘The Story Of Water’ is a documentary that focuses on the critical value of our most precious natural resource and the current state of Ireland’s public water network. View our chapter on leakage below.

Free leak repairs

First Fix Free is our scheme for repairing leaks on customers properties across Ireland. We’ll investigate if you have a leak in your external supply pipe and fix it for free if we find one. So far, an estimated *164 million litres of water per day has been saved as a result of this scheme to the end of 2020.

*First Fix Leak Repair Scheme For Domestic Water Customers Quarterly Report - Q2, 2020.

News and Updates

Find out all the latest news and updates on our Leakage Reduction Programme across the country

Vulnerable Customer Services

You can register yourself or someone you know for our Vulnerable Customer Services. Register online or sign up to receive text message supply updates. If you would prefer to speak to a member of our Customer Care team, please contact us on 1800 278 278.

Stay Safe

Irish Water staff and contractors will always identify themselves and show you their identity card. If you are unsure, please refuse access and call us on 1800 278 278 to confirm or visit our Stay Safe page.