‘First Fix’ free scheme to tackle leaks extended to 600,000 more customers
More than 60,400 repairs carried out under Irish Water project since 2015 introduction
The Irish Water scheme provides customers with support in identifying and fixing leaks.
An additional 600,000 customers will be able to benefit from Irish Water’s free leak repair service following a broadening of eligibility criteria approved by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) on Monday.
In approving Irish Water’s proposals to extend its “First Fix” scheme, the CRU recognised its success in reducing leakage and safeguarding water supplies.
The scheme is a key element of the national leakage reduction programme, which is addressing the serious problem of leakage in Ireland’s water network, especially in Dublin – the utility reduced leakage within its distribution networks from 49 per cent to 42 per cent last year.
The scheme provides customers with support in identifying and fixing leaks. Irish Water offers a free investigation and, when a potential leak has been identified, a free repair to any leak detected on an external supply pipe on the customer’s property.
Since its introduction in 2015, the scheme has resulted in savings of 155 million litres of water every day, enough water to supply 450,000 homes a year. To date more than 87,000 investigations and 60,400 leak repairs have been completed.
“The changes approved by the CRU will open the scheme to customers who were not included in the original scope, including those without a water meter. As a result up to 600,000 more customers will now be able to benefit from the service,” it said.
Irish Water’s customer strategy and capability manager Geoffrey Bourke added: “Tackling Ireland’s high rate of leakage is a top priority for Irish Water. We are making steady progress by replacing old water mains, fixing leaks and upgrading our water network.”
First Fix was an essential tool in tackling leakage on customers’ property, he confirmed. “Many more customers will now be able to have a leak fixed free of charge and help to conserve our precious water resources. This will benefit everyone by ensuring a more secure and reliable water supply for all,” he added.
Irish Water will be working with CRU and delivery partners to implement recommended changes, including:
– Unmetered domestic customers can now avail of the scheme;
– Domestic customers with usage above 213,000 litres per annum will be prioritised for investigation under the scheme;
– An internal stop valve is no longer needed for a customer to be eligible;
– Some mixed-use customers will now be eligible;
– Properties with a shared service connection will now be eligible; and
– Customers no longer need to be registered with Irish Water to avail of the scheme.