Disgraceful water leakage rates, the real reason for problems with water supply


PI Member
Oct 30, 2015
It is claimed that water leakage rates in Ireland are the product of decades of poor pipe laying practice, poor network & demand data, inadequate levels of leakage detection and repair. While pipe bursts are easily identified and quickly repaired due to loss of service, the bulk of leakage is from countless points of weakness at small cracks, joints, fittings and connections that are both difficult to locate and repair.

It is generally argued that 25% leakage rates is an industry standard and reducing below that figure is not particularly cost effective. Ireland is at 45% nationally with Dublin at 37%.

This is generally blamed on the local authority system, lazily in my view. The real reason is there's not enough votes in it, hence decades of underinvestment. It is claimed that Irish Water will sort it out but again I come back to not enough votes in it and many of these, multitude of small leaks are difficult to find. Will Irish Water succeed where Councils failed, will droughts finally force the issue or is it just a shuffling of the deck chairs?

During the drought, some areas were losing half of their water supply because of leaks
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