Coffey Completes Jerpoint Abbey Water Mains Replacement Programme

Coffey, on behalf of Irish Water and under the National Leakage Programme, has recently completed the replacement of aged Asbestos water mains at Jerpoint in Co. Kilkenny.

Coffey, working on behalf of Irish water has replaced 450m of aged Asbestos water mains running along the R448 at Jerpoint, Co. Kilkenny. The completion of these works resolves the frequent leakage problems experienced in the area due to the aged Asbestos Main. The works were completed as part of the National Leakage Reduction Programme – an investment by Irish Water of over €500 million between 2017 and 2021 to reduce leakage and replace old pipes on the water network across Ireland.

Coffey faced several challenges on this project which commenced in April 2021. The proximity of Jerpoint Abbey and the winding nature of R448 limited the engineering options available to the crew carrying out the works. To overcome the difficulties, Coffey diverted the works route thus minimising impact of the excavations on the Abbey’s archaeological structure and used directional drilling and open trenching approaches to complete the project.  Approximately 300m of the asbestos water mains was replaced via directional drilling and the remaining 170m of new polyethylene (plastic) pipes were laid via an open trench approach. This methodology minimised traffic disruption and reduced overall inconvenience to the local population over the duration of the project.

The successful delivery of this project will lead to a reduction in water outages due to bursts on the main with the immediate benefit of improved water quality and a more secure and reliable water supply for the residents and the wider Jerpoint community. Additionally, completion of the project means Irish Water are reducing the volumes of clean drinking water lost into the ground – a key objective of the National Leakage Reduction Programme.

Coffey is working on behalf of Irish Water to deliver several National Leakage Reduction Programme projects across the country – please contact us on 091 844356 or email for more details on this project and the other work we are completing under the Programme.

Thanks to Brian Howley, James O’Connell and Liam Barry for providing details on this job.