Woman with leaky meter claims she won’t pay water charges

Evelyn McDermott says water started to spout from domestic meter during heavy frost

A spokesman for Irish water said no water meter had been installed higher than existing pipework, but some had been installed lower. File photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennells

A spokesman for Irish water said no water meter had been installed higher than existing pipework, but some had been installed lower. File photograph: Colm Mahady/Fennells

 

A Co Kildare woman who complained that water is leaking from her meter has said she will not pay her water charges.

Evelyn McDermott of Celbridge said water started to spout from a domestic water meter just outside her home, during recent heavy frost. She said water has since begun to spout from another source a few feet away in her driveway.

Ms McDermott also complained that some 26 hours after reporting the problem to Irish Water on Monday, she was told the repair would take another 24 hours. “That’s 50 hours in total”, she said on Tuesday.

Ms McDermott said she had worked abroad for 26 years and had not planned to pay the water charge before the burst. “I didn’t want to pay the household charge, but they took it out at source - I am a low paid civil service worker,” she said.

Ms McDermott said her experience raised questions as to whether water meters were robust enough or installed deep enough to withstand severe frosts.

A spokesman for Irish water said no meter had been installed higher than existing pipework, but some had been installed lower. All meters had a “frost cap” to prevent such bursts, he said. There was he added no evidence that bursting watermains would become a State-wide phenomen.