With over 2,000 water leaks detected and repaired across Co Kilkenny since the start of 2009, the next step in water conservation is to start replacing water mains, and four areas have been selected to lead the way.
Using funding of e2.47 million, water mains will be replaced at Station Road, Thomastown; Tibberaghry Road, Piltown; Ullid, Kilmacow; and Ballynaboley, Kilmacow, which are “beyond repair”, water services engineer Michael Murphy told the meeting of Kilkenny County Council on Monday. However it will be “probably 2013 before we are on the ground” to carry out the works, he said.
The works are part of the council’s three-stage programme of water conservation. The process of finding and repairing leaks is due to continue “for another year at least”, while a e15 million project to replace water mains where necessary will be carried out as funding is made available.
Some 2,276 leaks have been found since January 2009, Mr Murphy said. Of those, 1,394 were public and 96% of them have been repaired; the other 882 were private and 82% have been repaired.
In that time period, water production in Co Kilkenny has come down 18%, in part due to the leak detection and also helped by the non-domestic metering programme and the new water supply in south Kilkenny.
Unlike in previous years, there has been no water rationing for the last two winters, “so it is having an impact,” Mr Murphy said.
The amount of “unaccounted-for water” in the county stands at 47.1% – which includes not only leaks, but also “illegitimate usage and unauthorised connections”.
The council is continuing its work to reduce this further, Mr Murphy said, but realistically it “won’t get below a rate of 25%”.