Irish Water confirms Falcarragh upgrade works to commence in Autumn

Irish Water has confirmed today that they hope to commence work on upgrading problematic water pipes in Falcarragh this Autumn.

Engineers from Irish Water met with Councillors from the Gortahork and Falcarragh areas this morning to discuss the utility’s plans to replace two sections of water pipes that are prone to frequent bursts.

The meeting heard that financial approval has been given to progress the works to replace 3.2km of water mains.

In the interim, Irish Water says, working in partnership with Donegal County Council they will work to minimise disruptions due to future interruptions to supply by working to prevent bursts, prioritising any outages that might occur and carrying out all repairs as quickly as possible.

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Councillor Seamus O’Domhnaill has welcomed the utilities commitment to make the works a national priority:

Irish Water statement in full:

Issued May 16 2019 – Engineers from Irish Water held a constructive meeting with elected officials from the Gortahork and Falcarragh area of Donegal this morning to discuss the utility’s plans to replace two sections of water pipes that are prone to frequent bursts.

Councillors were told that Irish Water is committed to delivering water improvement works in Falcarragh and financial approval has been given to progress this through the National Leakage Reduction Programme. This programme is being delivered across Donegal and the rest of the country to replace pipes and repair leaks, targeting and prioritising investment where it is most needed.

At today’s meeting Irish Water acknowledged the significant ongoing level of disruption to water supply in the area due to regular bursts on the network. The existing pipework is asbestos concrete, a common pipe material used in the 1980s which tends to burst quite frequently as the pipes reach the end of their life cycle.

Commenting Kevin Love, Irish Water said: “This is not an acceptable situation and we are aware of the impact on local residents and businesses in the area. We are committed to dealing with the issues highlighted as soon as is achievable. Irish Water agrees with the need to replace these pipes as a matter of urgency and we have reprioritised water mains replacement work in Donegal to bring this project to the top of our list.

“Until the upgrade works are completed, Donegal County Council, in partnership with Irish Water, will work to minimise disruptions due to future interruptions to supply by working to prevent bursts, prioritising any outages that might occur and carrying out all repairs as quickly as possible.”

The Falcarragh project is currently in the design stage of delivery. This week our regional contractor Farran’s Construction Ltd began site survey works required for design. There are two sections of water mains planned for improvement:

Replacement of problematic rising mains to the Cashel reservoir with approximately 1.7km of new rising main.
Replacement of problematic water mains on the distribution network with 1.4km of new water mains. This will include new service connections from the new water main to each individual property.

Associated to the design of an engineering project such as water pipe replacement there are a number of regulatory requirements which must be met in advance of construction commencement.

Irish Water currently plans to commence the construction of this project in Autumn of this year. We will continue to engage with the local community and elected officials once the detailed design is complete and dates for commencement are available. Communications will also issue during the delivery of the project to ensure the local community are kept informed of progress.

The completion of this water network improvement project will provide the wider community in Falcarragh with a more reliable secure water supply and also reduce leakage.