Water is a precious natural resource and a sustainable water supply must be protected. We can all save water by fixing leaks or making small changes to how we use water.

Below is some information on leaks and the First Fix repair scheme that is being run by Irish Water. There are also some handy tips on how you can reduce the amount of water you use.

Leaks

You may discover that you have a leak on your property or Irish Water may contact you if they identify a potential leak. Every meter installed by Irish Water has a leak alarm that tells them if there is a suspected leak at a property. If Irish Water identify a leak at your property, they will let you know.

Irish Water are responsible for leaks on the mains pipes, up to an including the water meter. Customer responsibility for pipework usually ends at the boundary of the property. More information on who is responsible for each section of pipe can be found by viewing the Irish Water guidance document on pipe responsibility. To view the document click on the following button:

Water Leaks in The Home

Customers are responsible for any leaks found on their property or within their house. Checking for leaks in your home can help save water. Here are some simple checks that you can carry out in your home to determine if there are any internal plumbing issues causing leaks:

Check the toilet

Is there a constant sound of water running from any of the toilet cisterns in your home? Check for a stream of water running inside the toilet bowl or place a piece of toilet paper on the inside back of the toilet bowl and see if it absorbs water.

Check the water storage tank

Can you hear the water storage tank (usually located in the attic) refilling when water-consuming appliances are not in use or a toilet has not been recently flushed? It’s useful to carry out this check at night when it’s quiet. You can also check for signs of water coming from overflow pipes leading from the water storage tank, usually seen on the external wall on the side of your home.

Check all taps

Check all your household and external garden taps for drips. A dripping tap can waste over 1,500 litres of water per year (which is enough water to fill 20 bathtubs) and can be repaired by simply replacing the washer.

Any customer who has a query in relation to a leak on their property can contact Irish Water. And anybody who finds a leak on public property can report it to Irish Water. To find details about how to contact Irish Water, visit their website. To go to the Irish Water website click the button:

First Fix

 If a leak is located between the property boundary and the entry to the house may qualify for Irish Water’s First Fix Free Scheme. This scheme has been developed by Irish Water to reduce the levels of drinking water that is lost in the system.

This scheme only applies to leaks that are discovered on a customer’s external supply pipe. Any leaks that occur inside the house are outside of this scheme.

This scheme is available to customers that meet the following criteria:

  • Registered customers of Irish Water
  • Have a confirmed leak on the external supply pipe
  • Have a water meter installed on the property
  • Have a working and accessible inside stop valve
  • There is detailed information about the First Fix scheme on the Irish Water website and you can go directly to the relevant page by clicking on the first button below. The second button will bring you to the full policy on the First Fix Leak Repair Scheme for Domestic Water Customers.

           

Water Conservation

There is extensive information and advice on the Irish Water website on how you can conserve water at home. Small changes in your daily habits can help to save water as can investing in water conservation advices.

The information below shows some of the information that can be found on the Irish Water website about how you can make simple changes that will save water.

Water Conservation In the Bathroom

Have a shower instead of a bath - Showers use only half the amount of water required for a bath.
Spend less time in the shower - An average shower uses 10 litres of water per minute, so taking a shorter shower will save water.
Remember to turn off the tap when brushing your teeth - A running tap can use up to six litres of water per minute.
Consider adding a toilet cistern bag to your toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water used in every flush.

Water Conservation In the Kitchen

Make sure your washing machine and dishwasher are always fully loaded before putting on a wash to save water and money on energy bills. When buying water-consuming appliances, it’s a good idea to check the energy efficiency label to make sure you are buying the most energy efficient appliance you can.
Use a basin in the sink - A basin is useful for washing dishes by hand or collecting the water you use to rinse fruit and vegetables, which can then be used for watering plants.
Keep a jug of water in the fridge - Waiting for a tap to run cold water to drink can waste more than 10 litres of water in a day.
Choose the correct pot or pan size for cooking and remember to use the lid on a pot or pan when cooking to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation, meaning you don’t have to keep adding water in.

Water Conservation In The Garden

Use a water butt to harvest rainwater from gutters - Collect rainwater to use in your garden instead of using drinking water from the tap.
Use a rose head watering can instead of a hose to water your plants to save water. The best time of the day to water plants is close to sunrise or close to sunset in order to reduce water evaporation.
Add layers of plant material, like bark or straw, to the soil in your garden to help keep the sun off so that it can retain more water for your plants and you can save on water.
Use a bucket and sponge to wash your car - Using a hose to wash your car uses more water in one hour than the average family uses in a day.