13 May 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Irish Water has announced details of a €3.2 million investment to upgrade 17km of water mains in Co. Cork. The project will involve the replacement of old water mains that are prone to leakage, regular bursts and interruptions to supply throughout the county. It will result in significant improvements in network performance and security of supply.
According to Irish Water’s Regional Information Officer, Aisling Buckley, “These vital works will improve water supply and reduce leakage in a number of areas throughout Cork; in Bantry, Ballylickey, Coachford, East Ferry, Newtownshandrum and Crookstown. Many of these areas are serviced by old water mains that are in poor condition and their replacement will result in fewer burst mains, less leaks, interruptions to supply and an overall improvement in the water quality.”
“Irish Water’s work to reduce leakage nationally will save 180 million litres every day by 2021. Part of this work involves investing in the replacement of old water mains in counties across the country, including Cork. This project is in addition to the €15.8 million upgrade of water mains in Cork City which is already underway. The estimated savings, in leakage and reduction in unaccounted for water, as a result of both projects is estimated at 20.8 million litres of water every week, or enough water to fill more than eight Olympic swimming pools in just 7 days.”
The Cork Countywide Advance Priority Water Mains Rehabilitation Project is expected to start next month and be completed by early 2017. It will involve the replacement of existing old water mains with new polyethylene and ductile iron water mains. The work sections will be limited to short sections to minimise impact on residents, businesses and road users. The works will involve some short-term water shut offs for a number of hours over a day or two in each area when the pipes are being connected to the system. The project team will ensure that householders and businesses are advised in advance of any works in their area and a minimum of 48 hours prior notice will be provided in advance of any planned water shut offs.
Irish Water will spend €532 million on water services in 2016. Capital investment in the region of €700 million per year is needed for a sustained period of several decades to address the poor condition of Ireland’s water infrastructure. Works have been prioritised to address the most critical issues in line with commitments outlined in Irish Water’s Business Plan up to 2021. Delivery of the business plan will involve a €5.5bn investment in capital spending on drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure up to 2021 while achieving efficiencies of €1.6bn.