Less than 5 per cent of water meter connection points identified
Local authorities have yet to complete stopcock surveys
Water tap. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Engineering surveys to establish where domestic water meters can be installed have not been completed by any local authority, even though the installation programme is due to start in three months’ time.
Just half of the State’s 34 city and county councils have started surveys to locate the stopcocks for the 1,050,000 households connected to the public water supply. Four local authorities have given no indication of when they intend to start their surveys.
Irish Water’s meter installation programme is due to begin in July and be completed by 2016. The Government is committed under the EU-IMF rescue plan to start charging households for water in 2014. However, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan earlier this month said the Government might seek sanction to delay the introduction of charges to 2015.
Local authorities were expected to have completed the surveys by the end of last month. Up to the end of last week, fewer than 5 per cent of residential stopcock connections had been identified.
Surveys have been started by councils for Carlow, Fingal, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick county and city, Monaghan, Tipperary North, Tipperary South, Westmeath, Wexford, Cavan, Cork city and county, Galway county, Kilkenny and Laois.
Dublin city, Longford and Offaly are due to start next week. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Wicklow, Leitrim, Louth, Meath, Roscommon, Sligo, South Dublin, Waterford city and county are due to start on April 29th. The Department of the Environment has had no confirmation from Donegal, Galway city, Clare and Mayo as to when they intend to begin.
Meters are to be installed at households’ stopcock connection, located outside the wall of the property. This will allow it to be read by automatic scanners, but will also mean householders will pay for leaks on their property.