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’re investing €500 million up to the end of 2021 in fixing leaks to provide a more reliable water supply.

The challenge of leaks

Every day we currently lose about 40% 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%, and we are on track to achieve a national leakage rate of 38% by the end of 2021.


Kilometres of water network


Leak repair experts on the ground fixing leaks


Leaks are fixed every month


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 fix 1,500 leaks per month. Our leakage reduction crews are working hard to find and fix these leaks nationwide to protect Ireland's water supplies. View our videos below to find out more about the Leakage Reduction Programme and what we’re doing to reduce leakage across Ireland.

We're on track to save 166 million litres of drinking water daily by the end of 2021.

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

How we're reducing leakage across Ireland

There are 7 different types of work streams involved in the Leakage Reduction Programme:

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.

Find out more

Find & Fix

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

Watch a short video

Mains Replacement

Our pipes are below ground with electricity, gas and telecommunications services so before replacing them, we must first carry out underground pipe surveys.

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.

Find out more

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 a short video

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 a short video

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.

Find out more

Case studies

Read in more detail how we’re fixing leaks across the country to provide you with 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 in homes 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 *150 million litres of water per day has been saved as a result of this scheme to the end of Q2 2019.

*First Fix Leak Repair Scheme For Domestic Water Customers Quarterly Report - Q2, 2019.

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.

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.