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18/09/2021

Enough water to supply six villages saved after an underground leak was located and repaired under a Donegal road

Enough water to supply six  villages saved after an underground leak was located and repaired under a Donegal road

Over 500,000 litres of water per day has been saved by Irish Water following a major leakage investigation and repair in Buncrana.
The utility, which works in partnership with Donegal County Council, repaired the significant leak on the Buncrana to Slab road.
The works will provide a more secure and reliable water supply for the town and surrounding areas.
Repair of the significant leak on the Buncrana to Slab road has saved enough clean drinking water to supply almost 3,900 people or the population equivalent of Manorcunningham, Newtowncunningham, Burnfoot, Fahan, St Johnston and Killea for a day.

High level of leakage
Irish Water and Donegal County Council recognised that the water supply in Buncrana, the second most populated town in Donegal, was subject to a high level of leakage but there was a challenge in locating the water loss due to the limited information on the underground public network.
An extensive review of the network was carried out and, following the installation of a new public meter, crews were able to locate the leak and plan the repair.
The works involved the installation of a bulk meter, which gathers information about water usage and flow, on the Buncrana trunk main.
The meter enabled crews to locate the underground leak on the public supply, which serves a large geographical area from Buncrana to Muff and Saint Johnson to Manorcunningham.

Minimise disruption
Irish Water and Donegal County Council worked together to ensure the successful completion of the project and invaluable local knowledge, coupled with the fact that works took place overnight on 20 July 2021, helped minimise disruption to the local community.
Networks Regional Lead with Irish Water, Declan Cawley, said: “It is difficult to comprehend that over 500,000 litres of clean drinking water was being lost underground, every day. No water was surfacing on the ground, so the data was imperative for us to locate this leak. Water is a valuable resource and expensive to produce so finding this massive leak and successfully repairing it was of paramount importance.”
In 2018 the rate of leakage nationally was 46%, by the end of 2020 it was 40% and those at Irish Water are currently on course to achieve a national leakage rate of 38% by the end of 2021.

Investment being made

Executive Engineer for Water Conservation and Find and Fix Project with Donegal County Council, Margaret Doherty said: “As a result of the collaboration between Donegal County Council and Irish Water, customers are enjoying a more secure and reliable water supply.”
Irish Water continues to work in partnership with local authorities across Ireland every day to reduce leaks; €500 million is being invested up to the end of 2021 to reduce the level of leakage across the country. See water.ie/reducingleaks

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