IRISH Water has been slammed following claims it has charged people twice for a water connection, and councillors are demanding answers from the utility.
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said he has been contacted by several people recently who received planning permission pre-2014 and had paid their contribution fees at that time to the County Council to cover water, roads and sewerage.
For various reasons, he said, many were only now going ahead with building and have found that they have to pay Irish Water €2,272 for a meter connection – in addition to what they already paid the County Council, which would have been at least €5,500.
Speaking at a recent meeting in County Hall, Cllr Carroll said: ‘With the help of a county engineer we fought one case on behalf of one particular client against Irish Water and they agreed that the person shouldn’t pay the €2,272 and he paid about €700.’
However, Cllr Carroll said that he knows another man, four miles down the road, in the exact same position, and Irish Water is insisting that he must pay the ‘full whack’.
‘This is wrong and an injustice. These people are being penalised.’
‘I have another incident in West Cork where a man wants to get a water connection soon because the road is being resurfaced outside his home and he doesn’t want to get it all dug up again. The last reply he got back said it could be 16 weeks before he gets a reply. Irish Water is way below what is required in this country.’
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) agreed with Cllr Carroll and called for clarity and said that maybe Irish Water are ‘chancing their arm’ without having any back-up for the charges.
A spokesperson for Irish Water said people who paid contribution charges to the County Council pre-2014 may be have been under the impression they had covered their water costs.
However, he said that couldn’t have been the case, as the works hadn’t yet been done. He acknowledged the situation may be confusing but said the charge, capped at €2,272, is for the physical connection work when it’s carried out. Since 2019 a single, standard connection charge across the country has been put in place – €2,272 for water and €3,900 for wastewater.