33 million litres of water being saved every day in Limerick

Gerry O'Donnell, Asset Delivery Regional Lead for Irish Water,

MORE than 33 million litres of water – enough to fill 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools – are being saved every day in Limerick City and County as a result of Irish Water’s national leakage reduction programme.

The improvements to the water supply, undertaken by civil engineering firm ShareRidge on behalf of Irish Water and Limerick City and County Council, followed an extensive review of the water network in Limerick.

Several significant challenges were identified including the condition of the city’s old and fragile water mains which were prone to frequent bursts, as well as the construction of some critical water infrastructure across the county.

Since 2018, almost 22 kilometres of water mains have been replaced through rehabilitation and replacement projects.

Gerry O’Donnell, Asset Delivery Regional Lead for Irish Water, said: “Reducing leakage is not only about replacing old pipes or fixing bursts, but it also involves detailed planning, collaboration and the co-ordination of several different work streams in order to make the most impact on leakage levels in a given area.

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“Finding underground leaks is difficult. This is why we continually focus a lot of effort on improving the systems to measure the flow of water in a given area.

“In Limerick, we continue to deliver a programme of works that are collectively driving leakage down. We also fix leaks on customers properties under the ‘First Fix Free’ scheme.

Throughout 2020, with the increased focus on public health, the importance of a reliable water supply was even more pronounced.

The watermains on St Nessan’s Road is the primary water supply for University Hospital Limerick. Because this water main was old and had a history of bursts which impacted the hospital and wider community, it was strategically targeted for replacement.

The successful completion of this project has ensured a more reliable supply of water for critical users now and into the future.

John Heelan, Mechanical Services Officer at University Hospital Limerick explains, “A reliable water supply is critical to the hospitals day to day operation. Water is necessary 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

“The water main supplying the hospital was problematic as it burst frequently and left the hospital without a fresh supply of water. The staff at UHL are going above and beyond the call of duty during these challenging times, and to have a safe and reliable water supply now means one less worry as they care for their patients,” Mr Heelan explained.