It is estimated that a million gallons of water has been lost every week for two years as a result of a major leak at Wolfe Tone Villas. The extent of the leak, can clearly be seen at a manhole near the entrance to Pettitt's supermarket where gallons of drinking water can be seen flowing freely down the drain, and it came to the attention of local councillor George Lawlor after attending discussions in relation to a water situation in Wolfe Tone Villas.
The Labour councillor was shocked to hear that the leak was responsible for the waste of some one million gallons of water per week and that the situation had been reported to Irish Water over two years ago.
'It equates to nearly a million gallons per week lost,' the flabbergasted councillor said. 'This situation was reported to Irish Water over two years ago and this means it was going on right through the drought we experienced last year. It's absolutely criminal that it hasn't been fixed yet!'
'It's amazing to think that this has been tolerated,' he said. 'I think it speaks volumes on Irish Water's programme for fixing leaks. This could've been fixed two years ago, but the way things are currently, hoops have to be jumped through and there's been delay after delay. There is a service level agreement with the council for our ground staff to carry out repairs and our staff could have had this done a long time ago.'
'The notion that this could have been let go for so long is unconscionable,' he concluded.
Irish Water responded by saying: 'The St Aidan's area of Wexford Town has large numbers of properties that are served by old water mains running through back yards/gardens which in a number of locations have had extensions built on top of the pipe over the years. These old backyard mains do give rise to leakage which is not straightforward to locate and is difficult to pinpoint.'
'Even when suspected leak locations are identified, fixing these leaks is difficult given that accessing the pipe will involve works on private property. The preferred solution is therefore to decommission the backyard mains and provide individual service connections to each house from a water main in the road at the front of houses. Irish Water and Wexford County Council are actively working on delivering this solution.'
Irish Water confirmed that they have identified and are in the process of replacing approximately 20 service connections at Distillery Road and William Street where suspected leaks were identified and this week they are to carry out works to replace a further six backyard service connections at Wolfe Tone Villas where the huge leak has been identified.