Irish Water to replace Bishopwater's lead pipes
IRISH Water has agreed to replace dangerous lead pipes feeding water into 126 houses in Bishopswater as part of the €5.5 million project to 'rehabilitate' almost 12.7 kilometres of old supply pipes in the town following a year-long campaign.
'Irish Water will replace more than 800 backyard services and in the case of Bishopswater it will include both the public and private sides,' said Cllr George Lawlor, who has been leading the campaign to compel the utility to cover the cost of work made necessary because residents inherited dangerous lead pipes when they moved into their homes.
He said the rehabilitation of the pipeline line network around the town, will run to more than 12,700 metres and the work will take place alongside the domestic gas installation project in Wexford between 2016 and 2018. A start date for this work has yet to be announced.
'It is a victory for residents and public representation and common sense following the lobbying of Irish Water. I had always stated the issue of lead piping was different because it was supplied when the houses were being constructed. It would have been wrong to charge people €2,500 per house for this work,' said Cllr Lawlor.
'It should be noted that Irish Water first brought this into the public domain.' This time last year, Irish Water told 126 households in Bishopswater that their water wasn't fit to drink and said it has sought advice from the HSE which said household water could be used for toilet flushing, bathing. showering, laundry and dishwashing.
Only water from the rising main which feeds the cold tap in the kitchen can be used for cooking and drinking and then only after the tap has been run for a minimum of five minutes. Irish Water told residents that the problem was uncovered after the utility took water samples at addresses throughout Bishopswater. Until yesterday (Monday) it had told householders that the replacement of private lead service pipes 'is the responsibility of the property owner'.