AN ASSOCIATION representing Irish plumbing firms has appealed to the government to break up the task of installing water meters in the country’s homes – so that smaller firms and sole traders have the opportunity to get some of the work.
The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors of Ireland says the task of installing meters is one that should be given to people who are already trained in water supply and maintenance.
The body’s chairman Sean Giffney said the association had 350 firms which were all “ready, willing and able” to help install the meters in a timely way.
“We fully agree with the view of the ESRI’s Professor Edgar Morgenroth, that it is essential that this task be carried out by experienced and qualified plumbers not personnel hired and trained solely for meter installations,” Giffney said.
The body welcomed assurances by Phil Hogan who had commented that contracts for installing the meters would be provided on a localised basis to allow local businesses to gain from the trade, but asked that the contracts be awarded in smaller lots.
This was so that bigger companies and independent contractors could “all provide jobs in local communities and deliver this ambitious national project,” Giffney said.
Some 1.3 million meters will be installed on homes which do not have their own domestic wells in the next 48 months.