Pics: Patrick Browne
THE importance of reducing the amount of treated water lost to leakage was one of the main topics discussed when staff from Irish Water visited St Patrick’s De La Salle NS in Kilkenny City.
Pupils learned about the complex process involved in treating water to ensure it is safe to drink by the time it comes out of the kitchen tap.
To outline this, children were shown a new video about the water treatment process, transforming it from its raw state in rivers, lakes and underground aquafers to a safe drinking supply for homes, schools and businesses.
They also heard about Irish Water’s work in treating wastewater so that it can be returned safely to the environment and discussed what they can do to protect Ireland’s precious water resources.
The latter can be achieved by conserving water at home and by not flushing unsuitable items down the toilet where they could end up polluting our beaches and aquatic environments.
The Irish Water team performed simple water experiments and spoke about some of the projects being carried out by Irish Water in the Kilkenny area, including the Leakage Reduction Programme in the Patrick Street area of the city.
This involves replacing about 500m of old and damaged water mains along Patrick Street to improve the flow of water to the city and reduce the likelihood of supply outages due to bursts and leakage.
Gráinne Carey, from Irish Water’s Leakage Programme, explained the need for this work and showed pupils a sample of old cast iron pipe similar to that being replaced in Kilkenny.
“We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet the pupils and teachers in St Patrick’s De La Salle to share the story of water and discuss some of the work being done by Irish Water around Kilkenny,” she said.
“With the works currently taking place to reduce leakage in the Patrick Street area, we were particularly pleased be able to discuss with the pupils the importance of reducing the volume of water lost to leakage.
“Treating water so that it is safe to drink is a costly and complex process. Through the national Leakage Reduction Programme, Irish Water is investing over €500 million nationally over the next four years to reduce the high level of leakage across the country by fixing or replacing aging water mains.
“This will ensure a safe, reliable water supply which is vital for our health, our environment and our growing population and economy.
“We are grateful to the schools, businesses, residents and all the other stakeholders in the area for their support while we progress this essential project which will have long term benefits for all businesses and residents in the area.
“We are committed to carrying out this work in a way that minimises any disruption and ensures Patrick Street remains fully open for business.”