Project outline:

As part of the Domestic Water Metering Services & Works Contracts for both the South West and West regions, Murphy undertook the associated First Fix Contract, which involved leak investigation and identification along with the associated repair design and solution.

The works were completed on more than 8,000 service pipes that were metered as part of the domestic water meters installations on behalf of the newly-established utility company, Irish Water, across the South West (Cork & Kerry) and West (Limerick, Clare, Galway & North Tipperary) regions.

The leak identification and design or repair solutions process was part of the Domestic Water Metering Services & Works Contract and was the first of it's kind on a large scale basis to be undertaken in. Even with the unique scale, nature, logistics, design, delivery and complexity, this scope of works was wholly planned and managed in-house by Murphy.

The Works were completed between 2015 and 2017.

Key challenges

The principal objective of the project was to reduce leakage on the customer service pipes, which were connected to the Irish Water distribution network. This programme of works followed the establishment and completion of metered supplies. This in turn enabled a clearer understanding of the existing network and supply arrangements which focused resources on leak detection and identification and thus the leakage reduction through First Fix programme. These projects were to be the first high priority programmes of works in delivering upon the Irish Water mission statement in respect of the project:  “To deliver sustainable, high-quality and efficient water and wastewater services for the benefit of the citizens of Ireland”. 

Murphy committed to deliver the aims, objectives and efficiencies required of the First Fix programme and to deliver the Customers of Irish Water with a first class experience. In addition to leakage identification and reduction, the objective of Murphy was for the projects to be delivered in a safe, sustainable and healthy environment, to the highest standards of quality, with due regard for the needs and expectations of all project personnel, the general public and external stakeholders.

The contract scope of works consisted primarily of leak identification on service pipes following the installation of boundary boxes, associated fittings and integrated water meters with radio units using approved meter reading technology, along with the associated leak repair.

All of the above in regions that had not experienced a project of similar scale or benefit previously. This coupled with excavation and underground utility challenges that, again, were never experienced to the same level previously.

Project delivery/ innovations

Murphy based its Contract Execution Plan upon delivering the highest possible standards and performance levels across all key deliverable elements, founded on an understanding that this was not just a civil engineering project in the conventional sense but as much an information and data management project, with a wide range of invested stakeholder interests a further integral element.

Upon receipt of Works Instruction, Murphy set about establishing the process, framework and the associated resources and specialist services required to achieve maximum leakage saving within the required time period. This included the recruitment, assembly, and integration of a competent and capable specialist integrated team team.

In addition, there was Effective: Resource Management, Performance Management Systems, Planning and Programme Management, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, SHESQ Management Systems, Implementation of a Quality Control System, including an Inspection Plan, and Staff Training to ensure a high level of workmanship, On-going liaison and engagement with Irish Water, Local Authorities, Utility Owners, Customer and other Stakeholders, A strong emphasis on Service and Customer Care (including delivery of a consistent and clear message to the Customer), Robust and rigid management of Information flow to and from site and a sustainable and proactive approach to all operations, with special consideration given to the use of localised resources.

The systems and procedures implemented by Murphy on this project enabled innovative and more effective solutions to be deployed directly with customers not only in the West and South West Regions but across the country. The customer communications system enabled live scheduling and associated direct communications with customers so as to agree convenient site visits and maintain an effective overall First Fix programme with continuously engaged and productive resources.

A well-defined and workable organisation structure was developed to oversee, manage, and deliver the project requirements in terms of both South West and West regions running concurrently. The Senior Management team, together with all key support functions, was established to manage both regions, and organisational sub-structures were put in place to manage the day to day operations in respective regions.

Key facts
  • Works completed between 2015 and February 2017
  • > 25,000 Site investigateions and Customer Surveys
  •  > 4,000 First Fix repairs completed
  •  Introduced new and industry leading cradle to grave systems to interface with Client information and provisions
  • > 62,000 customer interfaces

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Domestic Water Metering Services road view.

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