30 November 2020
By Mary Bermingham
In recent years, Irish Water and Cork City Council have completed extensive work in Cork, delivering a far more secure and reliable water supply for the city. This has resulted in over 5.5 million litres of water per day being saved in Cork City in 2020.
A critical project for Cork City has been the Eastern Strategic Link Trunk Main project. This piece of work included a new connection to Glashaboy water treatment plant, east of the city. Water can now be supplied into the city centre from three separate water treatment plants, located at Inniscarra, Lee Road and Glashaboy, ensuring a far more robust and secure water supply for businesses and communities across the city.
The completion of the first phase of this project means there is now capacity to re-route water from other areas across the city in the event of a large burst, or unplanned incident. The first phase, completed in November 2019, with a total length of 4.2 kilometres of new pipeline, was constructed on the eastern side of the city between Tivoli and Camden Quay.
Leakage from Cork’s Victorian-era water supply network has been another challenge for Irish Water. About half of all the water treated in Cork every day is lost to leakage before it reaches the homes and businesses of the city. Significant progress has already been made, with more than 7 kilometres of old water mains replaced in Horgan’s Quay, Lower Glanmire Road, Marian Park, Turners Cross and the Skehard Road. In the Victorian Quarter, old water mains have been replaced and new service connections have been installed in both the MacCurtain Street and Harley Street areas. In addition, some 2,000 lead service pipes (the pipes connecting individual properties to public water mains) have been replaced in the Ballinlough, Douglas, Blackrock, Mahon and Turners Cross areas.
Find and Fix and Pressure Management works, enabled by both the Eastern Strategic Link project and water mains replacement, have yielded savings of over 5.5 million litres of water a day in Cork City between January and July 2020. These works have proved critical in tackling leakage and have been made possible by the completion of critical network improvements. Works to improve water pressure have been completed in locations including Churchfield, The Glen, Mayfield, Montenotte, The Old Youghal Road, Wellington Road, O’Donovan’s Road and Spring Lane.
Irish Water’s project manager, Steven Blennerhassett outlined the importance of carrying out these essential works: “Safeguarding Cork’s water supply for the future is a top priority for Irish Water. It is great to see development taking place across the city, even in these strange and unpredictable times. The city’s population is expected to grow by 125,000 over the next 20 years and Irish Water is delighted to deliver a vastly improved water infrastructure and support this growth. I would like to thank businesses and communities for their patience and support while we completed this work.”
Irish Water would like to thank our Local Authority partners in Cork City Council for their strong collaboration and the substantial results they have achieved to date.
Leakage reduction works are part of a national programme which will see €500 million invested up to the end of 2021 to reduce leakage countrywide. The successful works carried out in Cork to date are examples of how the national Leakage Reduction Programme is working in partnership with Local Authorities across the country to reduce leakage every day.