Earl Street North Dublin 1

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.

Working with our partners to reduce leakage

This Find & Fix leak repair in Dublin City delivered water savings of 400,000 litres a day. Working collaboratively with our partners, the work undertaken resulted in significant benefits including an improved water supply for over 4,000 people in the area.

Project Challenges

A substantial leak was found on an aged water mains network following a survey by GMC Utilities Ltd., our Regional Contractor, using a device that uses the sound of a leak to identify its location.

The leak was found in an extremely busy location in Dublin City Centre making access an issue. It was in close proximity to an operational Luas track, a busy 4-way junction and an entrance to a car park. A traffic management plan and stakeholder buy-in was vital to order to gain access, minimise disruption and carry out works in a safe manner.

Delivering the solution

Irish Water worked with Dublin City Council and GMC to agree the following approach;

  • Dublin City Council to redistribute the water network in the area to minimise disruption to customers during the works
  • A traffic management plan to be agreed in consultation with Dublin City Council and Transdev, the operator of the Luas tram service
  • A permit for works to be obtained from Transdev
  • A minimal amount of main to be replaced due to the nature of the break

As often with this type of works, whilst the repair was underway, a broken valve on the main was identified. The contractor installed a new valve along with the repair improving future water network management.

Stakeholder engagement on the ground

Extensive stakeholder engagement was needed for these works due to challenges posed by the city centre location. Liaising closely with our partners, a permit to carry out works near the tram line was secured, as well as:

  • Agreement with Dublin City Council’s roads section to a traffic management plan and timing of works to minimise disruption to road users and residents
  • Key stakeholders in the area were contacted prior to works commencing to ensure access was maintained to properties
  • The works were added to the Irish Water’s Supply and Service map, a social media post was issued to make people aware of the upcoming works and there was direct communication with key stakeholders prior to works commencing.

Ultimately, there was minimal disruption to road users, local residents and businesses through successful stakeholder engagement that secured access agreements and a clear traffic management coordination.

A reduction in the volume of unaccounted water from 80% to 30%

Security of supply to over 4,000 people

A more robust and easily managed network

Establishment of six sub-DMAs for more efficient management

Establishment of six sub-DMAs for more efficient management

Through close collaboration with Dublin City Council, GMC and the Leakage Reduction Programme delivery team, the leak was successfully repaired saving nearly 400,000 litres of water a day. Dublin City Council monitored the water usage overnight and confirmed that the minimum night flow (MNF) had dropped by 18m 3 /hr.

“The Find & Fix work stream is a collaborative effort to drive down leakage using a targeted approach. By using data from our Leakage Management System we can repair water mains and service connections, eliminating existing leaks and reduce the amount of clean drinking water lost into the ground. The very real impact of this has been significant leakage savings and a better supply for over 4,000 people in the area.“

Matthew Thomson - LRP Regional Lead for Dublin Region