Why early engagement with Irish Water is critical
Irish water is Ireland’s national water utility provider and is responsible for management of water and wastewater services, infrastructure, and additions or upgrades to the network throughout the Republic of Ireland. As part of any proposed new construction development, it is vital to engage with Irish Water as early as possible.
A pre-connection application is the first stage of engagement and should be made at the earliest possible opportunity. All construction projects that start at concept stage with ORS clients, are progressed to pre-connection application stage as soon as the project brief and preliminary layout is agreed with the design team and the client. By starting the process early, ORS can determine if the following factors are going to impact the configuration of the proposed development:
- adequate services in proximity to the site;
- if enabling works are required, for example wastewater pumping stations, risings mains or providing a dedicated surface water sewer to ensure the site is serviceable.
The key benefits to starting the engagement process early include:
- Time saving for the entire design team. If the issues are flagged and addressed prior to planning submission, the layout of the scheme will have the optimal outfall/connection points for the proposed services.
- Allows the client to have a clear picture of the requirements with regard to the Irish Water owned assets. This is established prior to the detailed design stage, thus avoiding any unforeseen costs that may affect the feasibility of the project.
Following lodgement of the pre-connection application, Irish Water will send either:
- Confirmation of feasibility – meaning that there are no abnormal items associated with connecting to the Irish Water assets and the site can be readily serviced.OR
- Bespoke confirmation of feasibility – meaning there may be one or more items to be addressed to facilitate connection to the Irish Water infrastructure.
Following receipt of the confirmation of feasibility, ORS will work with the design team and Irish Water (if required) to develop an optimal solution for servicing the site which will then be submitted as part of the planning submission. Failure to carry out the above steps can result in a significant further information (FI) request from the relevant Local Authority, causing delays and additional costs.
If a bespoke confirmation of feasibility is received, additional works such as a local upgrade to Irish Water infrastructure or some survey works to confirm capacity of downstream sewers could be required. If this occurs, ORS engages with Irish Water further to fully understand the requirements and provide a recommendation and associated design if appropriate to address the bespoke element of works.
Following a successful planning process, the detailed design stage is undertaken and the project is tendered for construction. On appointment of a contractor, ORS will then submit a connection application to Irish Water. This process allows the Local Authority and Irish Water to review the detailed design proposal and “design vet” the proposal prior to construction. Any comments made in this review are incorporated by ORS and a connection offer is made by Irish Water.
Following agreement and payment of the connection offer by the developer, a pre-start meeting is held and attended by the contractor, Irish Water Field Engineer and the consulting design engineer (ORS). This meeting sets out and agrees a programme and testing regime for construction of the Irish Water assets within the proposed development.
The ORS Civil and Structural Team has worked on various residential, commercial, healthcare, educational and industrial projects. The team liaises with Irish Water from concept to completion of construction. We have the experience and a proven track record of delivering high quality solutions in line with our client’s and Irish Water’s expectations.
The ORS Civil and Structural Team has dealt extensively with Irish Water through all stages of a construction project. In particular, ORS has significant experience working on:
- Concept stage (pre-planning) when the pre-connection application is made.
- Detailed design of the proposed civil services including water and wastewater.
- Completion of connection applications prior to construction.
- Construction phase of the project and on to completion.
If you would like to discuss Irish Water requirements for your project, please get in touch with Mark Heslin or Stephen Grant from the ORS Civil and Structural Team.
If you would like to discuss Irish Water requirements for your project, please get in touch with Mark Heslin from the ORS Civil and Structural Team.