Water supply leaks can cause significant structural damage to properties, even over a short period of time. During a subsidence investigation at this property in Blackrock, Cork City, a private shared lead water supply was found to be the cause of the problem. Damage was noted as Category 2 cracking and enough distortion to render two doors permanently closed.
The leak was repaired and on inspection a hole with a diameter of 5mm was identified!!!!! This would suggest that the leak has been occurring for quite some time and the quantity of lost water must be enormous. The problem with old shared water supplies (which sometimes run to the rear of terraces) is that many are not provided with water metres. And therefore, leaks are more difficult to identify.
Lead has been used in domestic pipework in some houses up to the 1970s and the health effects are well documented. Irish Water estimate that about 180,00 homes and businesses are still being serviced by some degree of lead pipework.
The majority of lead water supply is inside private property which in theory places the onus of repair on the homeowner or homeowners. Irish Water offers a lead pipe replacement scheme which will replace any public side lead service connection pipes free of charge to customers if they have replaced the private side lead supply pipe. And grants are available to homeowners in certain circumstances.
At Substruck, we have been repairing and replacing all types of water supplies since we began trading in 2003. If you think you may have a lead supply and are interested in addressing this, please contact us for further information.