Leakage Reduction Programme
Much of Ireland’s water is lost to leaks before it reaches our taps.
Irish Water’s national Leakage Reduction Programme is Fixing leaks around the country to provide a more reliable water supply. This programme of works in County Leitrim is one example of how we are working with our partners to reduce leaks every day.
Collaborating on leakage reduction
Seven million litres of water per week saved in Carrick-on-Shannon
In spring 2018, Irish Water in partnership with Leitrim County Council, discovered that Carrick-on-Shannon had one of the highest levels of leakage in the county. 80% of the area’s water supply was unaccounted for and years of costly bursts had resulted in a significant decrease in headroom. It was essential to reduce leakage in this area in order to minimise the loss of water and to secure the supply enabling local and future development.
Planning a solution
An extensive review by Irish Water and Leitrim County Council identified a number of key challenges including a lack of information about the existing district metering area (DMA) network, issues with existing valves and meters and that over 2,400 connections were needed. In consultation with the contractor, Farrans Construction, a multi-tiered approach was agreed that would reduce leakage by:
- improving the DMA structure
- expanding the existing network
- implementing a pressure management system
- improving the security of supply, especially to the town centre.
Delivering the solution
In May 2018, Larsen Water Management commenced works across Carrick-on-Shannon under the National Leakage Reduction Programme. Employing the expertise and efficiencies within Irish Water leakage was reduced in Carrick-on-Shannon by finding and Fixing leaks; improving management of the DMA; controlling and managing pressure more effectively and securing the supply with a cross connection that provided Leitrim County Council with three different ways to deliver water to the Town Centre. The scale of the work undertaken was significant with a joined up approach that achieved strong results:
Engagement with the local community
Engagement with key stakeholders, such as the local community, was vital in advance and during these works in order to support the delivery of works and to minimise disruption.
Where planned water outages were necessary, the Project team worked closely with local residents and business owners to ensure they were informed in advance and updated at all times throughout.
Supporting the future development of Carrick-on-Shannon
Through the collaborative work of Irish Water and Leitrim County Council, the project to reduce leakage in Carrick-on-Shannon and on the South Leitrim Regional Water Supply Scheme has resulted in many benefits: for the area
“Based on key information, Irish Water, in conjunction with Leitrim County Council, was able to formulate a plan and roll out the type of works that would most efficiently and effectively tackle the problem.“
David Lonergan - National Leakage Manager
“From the beginning we set out a planned approach to reduce leakage in Carrick on Shannon that was collaborative, data driven and results focused. The very real impact of this has been significant leakage savings and a better supply for over 4,000 people in the area.“
Declan Cawley - LRP Regional Lead for North Region
Our national Leakage Reduction Programme helps provide a more reliable water supply to Irish communities, reduce high levels of leakage and improve water quality.
Its delivery means investment of over €500 million between 2017 and 2021 to reduce leakage and replace old pipes on the water network. Fixing leaks can be complicated but we are making progress. In 2018 the rate of leakage nationally was 46%, by the end of 2019 it was 42% and we are currently on course to achieve a national leakage rate of 38% by 2021.