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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020
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€2.3 billion needed for water infrastructure as closing date looms

Almost 1 million people have registered with the utility company.

Image: Shutterstock/Gts

A SPOKESPERSON FOR Irish Water has said the State’s water infrastructure requires investment of €2.3 billion over the next six years.

Speaking on the Today with Sean O’Rourke programme, Head of Asset Management with the company, Jerry Grant, was responding to comments made by Brendan Howlin about the need for increased investment in the water supply.

For water supply alone we believe we need €2.3 billion to invest between now and 2021. The Government have decided that for that level of investment we need to be able to borrow that money as Irish Water off balance sheet.

“For that purpose we have been set up to levy a charge on our customers and collect the majority of our revenue from our customers directly in order to meet the market corporation test and be a entity that can borrow money,” said Grant.

Rate of registration

Grant went on to say that registration with the company has now reached close to 1 million. Of these 200,000 are not Irish Water customers as they are part of a group scheme or use their own septic tank.

This is around 60% of the total number that the company hope to have registered by 2 February – the closing date for applications to ensure correct billing.

A number of customers are eligible for the €100 Water Conservation Grant that will be paid through the Department of Social Protection.

There is also an issue with situations where a single occupant who does not register as such will receive a bill for a multi-occupancy resident.

In regards to rental properties, where a tenant is not registered as an occupier, the owner of the property will be billed.

On this, Grant said:

What this is about is sending the right bill, the correct bill, to customers.

Boil-water notices

In relation to the news that a large number of people may be at risk from contaminated water it was said that Irish Water will be working to deal with this problem.

In a report by the Environmental Protection Agency it has emerged that 121 water supplies have been recommended for priority improvements.

On this, Grant said he hoped the figure would be below 100 before the end of the year.

It was also said that individuals paying commercial bills will be liable to pay Water Charges during the service’s initial introduction – although it was hoped this would be phased out over time.

Anybody with issues relating to their Irish Water bill is encouraged to call the locall number of 1890 448 448 or to go to Water.ie.

Read: Water for almost a million people is at risk of contamination

Also: Irish Water denies leaving residents “high and dry”

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