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Irish Water

From flushing the loo to a cup of tea - how much will water cost?

What about filling water balloons? How much will that cost?

Updated 12.48am

DRINK, BATHE, SPLASH, do whatever you can with water today, as from tomorrow charges will come into effect.

The price has now been officially set. The previous proposal by the Commission for Energy Regulation remains unchanged – €4.88 per 1,000 litres for households that use both water services and wastewater services, or €2.44 per 1,000 litres if you only use one service.

This is on top of the free allowance of 30,000 litres per household, with an extra allowance per child.

That might not last long, as it equates to seven flushes of the toilet per day, two five-minute showers, or 28 runs of the dishwasher per week.

The average annual bill is expected to be €238.

First, the basics, with water usage estimates from The two amounts refer to the two different rates, and bear in mind that these charges only apply outside of the allowance.

  • Five minute shower (35 litres) = €0.08/€0.17, and one everyday per year would cost €31.17/€62.34.
  • Bath (80 litres) = €0.19/€0.39. One bath a week per year would cost €10.15/€20.30
  • Power shower (125 litres in less then five minutes) = €0.30/€0.61. One every day per year would cost €111.32/€222.65
  • Flushing a standard toilet (9 litres) = €0.02/€0.04. Ten flushes a day would cost €80.15/€160.31 per year.
  • Flushing a modern toilet (6 litres) = €0.01/€0.03. Tenflushes a day would cost  €53.44/€106.87 per year.
  • Modern washing machine (45 litres) = €0.11/€0.22. Three washes a week would cost €17.13/€34.26 per year.
  • Older washing machine (65 litres) = €0.16/€0.32. Three washes a week would cost €24.74/€49.48 per year.
  • Dishwasher (20 litres) = €0.05/€0.10. Three washes a week would cost €7.61/€15.22 per year.

These are some of the fundamentals, but what about some of other issues you’ll encounter?

Leaving the tap running while you brush your teeth

Think of all the times you were told while growing up to just switch off the tap. A running tap will use an estimated 6 litres of water per minute. If you brush your teeth for two minutes, it will cost €0.03/€0.06. Twice a day for 365 days will end up costing €10.69/€21.37.

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Filling a hot water bottle

We’ll assume you have a 2 litre bottle, and will only use it during the two coldest months of the year – January and February. It will cost €0.29/€0.57 for those two months, excluding the cost of boiling the water.

shutterstock_7323091 hot water bottle hot water bottle

A cup of tea…

Assuming it’s a metric cup of 250 millilitres, it’s not going to be too steep. It will cost €0.0006/€0.001. Three cups of day, every day, for a year would cost €0.67/€1.33.

… but what if you rinse the cup first?

Once? €1.33/€2.67 per year. Twice? €2.00/€4.01.

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Washing the car

Needless to say, this will differ on the size of  your car, how long you take to wash it, and, if you don’t mind us asking, the size of  your hose. The average 1/2-inch garden hose will use around 34 litres of water per minute. If you spend 15 minutes spraying water on the car you’ll use up 510 litres and spend €1.24/€2.48.

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For the dog

A happy healthy pooch requires at least one ounce of water per pound of body weight (29ml per 0.5kg) per day – and potentially more depending on exercise and how warm the weather is.  If you have an average 7kg Jack Russell, it would need at least 400ml per day, costing €0.001/€0.002 per day and €0.36/€0.71 per year. If you have a large male German Shepherd weighing around 40kg, he will need 2.3 litres per day, costing €0.006/€0.01 per day and €2.05/€4.10 per year.

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Filling a paddling pool

These can vary greatly in size, so we’ve picked what seems to be one of the more popular ones in the Irish and UK markets. It would need 600 litres of water to be filled to the brim. That will cost you €1.46/€2.93 to fill. Definitely cheaper than an Olympic swimming pool, which would cost €6,100/€12,200.

shutterstock_81442840 paddling pool paddling pool

Filling a water balloon

If you filled every water balloon with 500ml of water, you would need either 820 or 420 to hit the €1 mark.

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Make some ice cubes

At around 50ml per ice cube, this would be too heavy a demand on the water system. The 8,197th or 4,099th would push you over the €1 mark.

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Keep a goldfish

We’ll assume you’re keeping your goldfish in suitable conditions – at least a 75 litre tank, changed once a week. That will set you back €9.52/€19.03 per year.

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Water charges kick in tomorrow. Find out how much you’ll be paying…

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