Irish Water is working in partnership with Wexford County Council to replace ageing water mains in backyards and provide new service connections for customers in Wexford town.
The company said the project will improve water quality and provide the community with a more reliable water supply as well as reducing high levels of leakage.
In some older properties in Wexford town, water connections, typically made of iron or lead, were installed to the rear of properties and are often referred to as 'backyard' service connections.
Mark O'Duffy, Irish Water's Leakage Reduction Programme Regional Lead, said the condition of these backyard services has deteriorated over the years, resulting in increased bursts and leaks, and reduced water pressure for some householders.
The works will involve decommissioning approximately eight kilometres of old cast iron backyard water mains. New water mains will be constructed along the public road and new service connections will be installed from the new water main to each customer's property.
The improvements are being carried out by GMC Utilities Group Ltd. in partnership with Wexford County Council on behalf of Irish Water.
Surveying and site investigation for these network improvement works are currently taking place.
'We will issue further details and updates with timelines prior to the commencement of construction in each area', said Mr. Duffy,
The streets requiring the construction of new water mains are: Bernadette Place, Bishopswater, Casa Rio, Corish Park, Maudlintown, Joseph Street, Spawell Road, Wygram Place, Mannix Place, The Faythe and Saint John's Avenue.
The project will also involve the decommissioning of further old backyard cast iron and lead connections in adjoining areas. New service connections are to be installed from the existing water mains along the public road to each customer's property. There will be no requirement to construct new water mains along the public road in these communities.
Irish Water said the communities which will benefit from the improvement works include Barrack Street, Clifford Street, Distillery Road, Fishers Row, Francis Street, Glena Terrace, Grogans Road, Carrigreen Street, High Street, Hill Street, John Street, King Street, Mary Street, Michael Street, Kevin Barry Street, Swan View, Parnell Street, Rowe Street Lower, Saint Aidan's Crescent, Saint Enda's Terrace, Newtown Road, Saint Ibar's Villas Belvedere Road, Saint Ibar's Villas Newtown Road, The Faythe Upper, Trinity Street and William Street.
As the work progresses, residents will be invited to information evenings to meet members of the project team and ask any questions they may have about the proposed works.
Irish Water said the work may involve short-term water shut offs and the project team will ensure that customers are given a minimum of 48 hours notice prior to any planned interruptions. Traffic management will be in place where water mains are being constructed.
'We would like to thank local residents for their ongoing cooperation as we work together to deliver these improvements for Wexford', said Mr. Duffy.
'We will continue to work with the community to minimise disruption.Customers can phone Irish Water on Callsave 1850 278 278 if they have any further questions about the project', he added.
Irish Water is also assessing the sewer network in Wexford and said it is the first time that a survey of this scale is being carried out in the town to examine the condition and performance level of the network.
The company said the results will form the basis of a Drainage Area Plan for Wexford town which is being developed at a cost of €1.5 million, to improve the wastewater network, protect the environment and facilitate economic development over the coming years.
The survey works which started in April, are being undertaken by McBreen Environmental Limited.
The works involve using CCTV to survey the condition of over 17 kilometres of sewers, mapping and inspecting an estimated 2,600 manholes, and monitoring the wastewater and rainwater flows in the network. Traffic management will be organised in co-ordination with Wexford County Council with limited or no traffic disruption expected.
Alan Morrissey, Capital Programmes Regional Lead with Irish Water, said the work is part of a commitment to protecting Ireland's waterways and coastal areas, and ensuring the necessary wastewater infrastructure is in place to support population growth and development. 'Much of the sewer network is in poor condition due to its age and decades of under-investment. In addition, only a small portion of it has been accurately mapped and assessed to determine its condition', he said.
A resident in Trinity Street which is one of the areas earmarked by Irish Water for water pipe replacement works. said local householders were 'petrified' to receive a survey notice through their letter boxes informing them that lead was detected in the service pipes connecting their properties to the public water mains.