Disruption ahead as new pipes laid
Prepare for street digging and traffic disruption when work starts in January 2014 on the replacement of ancient water pipes.
A €3.7m 'watermains rehabilitation' contract has been given the go-ahead by Wexford Borough Council.
The project will involve the laying of 2.1km of new pipe in Wexford town as well as 7km of piping in Gorey and 2.4km in Ferns and Kilmuckridge.
Councillors were given details of the work last week by George Colfer, executive engineer with Wexford Water Services.
The contract will run from January to April and will involve disruption, he said.
There will be stop-go systems in place and roads will be closed at times.
There will also be interruptions to water supplies, but householders and businesses will be given advance notice.
The work will result in an upgraded water infrastructure with reduced leakages, improved pressure and flow and a reduction in water quality problems.
Old cast iron mains dating from the early 20th century will be replaced in areas such as John Street, Carrigeen Street, Summerhill Road, Whitemill Road and Distillery Road.
About 90 properties along the route that are currently served by a communal 'backyard' service will be given new individual service pipe connections.
Each connection will take about two to three hours to complete, according to Mr Colfer.
In Carrigeen Street, where drilling of the footpath will not be possible due to the presence of rock, connection pipes will run up the front of houses instead of underground.
Mr Colfer said 90% of the cost of the project, including the individual connections, is coming from the Department of the Environment.
He told Cllr Jim Allen that the work on Summerhill road may be done in off-peak hours to minimise traffic congestion.
He also said all streets and footpaths will be re-instated.
Cllr Anthony Kelly asked that special care be taken in consultations with elderly residents to avoid alarm and confusion.
Cllr Joe Ryan asked that the contractors confine their operations to the mid-term break in areas where there are schools.
Cllr Danny Forde asked if there was an alternative to running pipes up the front of houses in Carrigeen Street.
Director of Services Eddie Taaffe said going into the houses with kango hammers to dig up the hallways was not an option.