Irish Water, working in partnership with Donegal County Council, has replaced approximately 7km of old problematic water mains throughout the Falcarragh-Gortahork area.
Such works will ensure the provision of a more reliable water supply and reduction in the high levels of leakage experienced in the area.
Irish Water’s National Leakage Reduction Programme Regional Lead, Declan Cawley said: “These works formed part of a significant investment by Irish Water to upgrade the water network in Donegal. I am delighted to confirm that all water mains replacement works are now complete. Works were widespread and included six priority locations including Gortahork, Falcarragh, Curransport, Calheam/An Sruthàn, Ardsbeg and Derryconner.
“The importance of replacing such problematic water mains in these areas cannot be underestimated. Replacing these old, damaged pipes will reduce the instances of bursts and water outages and the new water mains and service connections will safeguard the water supply for homes and businesses in the area. These improvements to the water network are essential in providing a safe, secure and reliable water supply, now and into the future.
“The works did involve some short-term water shut offs and traffic management measures which we understand causes inconvenience to local communities. However, we would like to take this opportunity to thank customers and businesses for their patience while we completed these essential water main replacement works.’’
Since September 2019, works have been undertaken in several locations in the Falcarragh - Gorrtahork areas as part of the Leakage Reduction Programme. Between September 2019 and June 2020, almost 2km of problematic water mains in Gortahork and 1.5km of water mains in Falcarragh were replaced. In the latter half of 2020, over 1km of water mains in Curransport and 724 metres of water mains in the Calheam/An Sruthàn area were replaced. In November 2020, works commenced replacing 610 metres of water mains in Ardsbeg and 1.1km in Derryconner, such works were recently completed in March 2021.
These works involved the decommissioning of old problematic water mains and replacing them with high density polyethylene (plastic) pipes. The works were carried out as part of Irish Water’s National Leakage Reduction Programme by Farrans Construction Ltd.
The works also involved laying new water service connections from the public water main in the road to customers’ property boundaries and connecting it to the customer’s water supply. As part of these improvement works existing lead service connections on the public side were replaced.
Reflecting on the importance of the works for the area Eugene Allen, Water Services Engineer with Donegal County Council, said: “As a result of the collaborative work between Irish Water and Donegal County Council, customers in Falcarragh-Gortahork area are enjoying a more secure and reliable water supply. The project will benefit residential and business customers in the area by improving water quality, improving the water network, reducing disruptions to water supply, reducing leakage rates and unplanned outages associated with bursts.
"Completion of these works will also improve operational efficiencies by reducing the need for frequent repairs associated with old problematic water mains. The replacement of these old pipes will safeguard the water supply and have a positive impact on leakage and the daily lives of the local community.”
The 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.
Irish Water continues to work with Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.