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Freeze causes burst pipes all over capital



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Water supplies in the Greater Dublin Area are under strain following a spate of burst pipes caused by the recent freezing temperatures.

Irish Water has appealed to householders and business owners in the region to check for leaks on their properties and is urging people to conserve water.

The utility was responding to 50 burst water mains around the country yesterday, following on from dozens of similar incidents since the start of this week.

Investigations into leaks suspected to be caused by burst mains were also taking place at dozens of other locations.


Thousands of homes and premises have suffered outages, although supply strain is so far only a concern in the Greater Dublin Area.

Demand for water was already at an all-time high for the winter in the region before Christmas, but pressure on the supply has increased further in recent days in what is a familiar fallout from periods of sub-zero temperatures.

Freezing water expands and strains the pipes until they rupture.

The problem is most severe in older, weakened pipes but modern pipes can burst, particularly where they are laid in shallow ground.

The closure of business premises because of Covid-19 restrictions has also left many buildings unheated for prolonged periods, which is adding to the problem.

Tom Cuddy, Irish Water's head of operations, said all known leaks were being fixed but he asked the public to identify trouble spots.

"We are appealing to homes, businesses and those responsible for unoccupied buildings to check for leaks, whilst adhering to current public health regulations and advice, and to turn off water where it's not needed," he said.

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