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Saturday 18 August 2018

More major watermain bursts likely to happen

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Stock picture

Ian Begley

Irish Water has admitted that watermain bursts will continue to be a common occurrence following a review of an incident that left tens of thousands of residents without water across the North East.

In a newly published review, the utility company said it set out to establish the facts relating to the burst and repair of the Staleen watermain in July. It said that €24m has been prioritised for upgrades to the Staleen and Cavanhill Water Treatment Plants.

Construction on these projects, which will safeguard supply and quality of drinking water for Drogheda, will begin in the coming months and will take approximately two years. Gerry Duane, Irish Water's Head of Operations, said: "Watermain bursts will continue to be a common occurrence for several years to come and we deal with close to 300 bursts across the country every month. In the vast majority of cases the repair is completed quickly without significant interruption to customers.

"In the case of the Staleen burst, the complexity of the repair and the number of people relying on this water supply made this incident very different and so a review of how we managed it was both essential and worthwhile."

Key findings of this review recognised that this was a major incident for Irish Water which underlined the risks presented by the very poor condition of many critical water assets across the country.

The report also identifies key priorities for action by Irish Water which will, over time, improve the preparedness for similar incidents in future.

Irish Independent

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