‘Removal Of The Reference To Toilet Flushing Would Be Preferable’


Journalist and academic Ken Foxe has obtained through Freedom of Information Irish Water’s plans to begin charging 58,000 households for excessive water use.

Ken writes:

Meeting with Dept of Housing told process would need to be “carefully managed”. Concern raised over advising people to cut down on “toilet flushing”

Dept of Housing said Irish Water needed to be careful to be “faithful” to exactly what the law allows for. “If [excessive use letters] appear to suggest Irish Water is operating differently to what is in legislation, they will be open to challenge.”

Proposed timeline would be an initial “call to action” letter for those using excessive water. This would be followed up with a “notice” letter, a “reminder”, and finally the bill.

Charges would be capped at €500 per year for those with water in and water out services. It would only apply to those who had used more than 213,000 litres of water in the previous 12 months.

Overall, 58,061 customers were deemed to be excessively using water.

Of those, around 6,000 would be the first to be contacted. This would be followed by a “pause” to determine operational impact and the level of leak repairs that might be needed…

The project is, according to Irish Water, “reaching a state of readiness” for letters to be sent.

They had been preparing to start issuing the first batch of letters last October. The process was delayed because of (among other reasons) issues over data protection and how customer information would be handled:

The data being managed includes obvious things like name & address, but also number of occupants in a house, and any special medical conditions requiring extra water. In addition, it could provide info on people’s habits and when they’re likely to be home based on usage.

*pulls chain*

Right To Know

Ken Foxe

17 thoughts on “‘Removal Of The Reference To Toilet Flushing Would Be Preferable’

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Most of the wastage of treated water is in the crumbling public pipe network. €2bn would have gone a long way in rectifying that, but instead it’s been invested in a billing system. IW was set up for selling to companies such as Actavo (FFgs outfit) and/or Teneo (Alan Kellys brother’s outfit).

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    Why remove the flushing reference?
    During the summer heatwave and water shortage in 2018, I thought IW were very slow to advise householders on how to conserve water in the home. In fact their entire mission on water charges barely touches upon conservation. Some of us DID refrain flushing the loo that summer when it was only a few mm of urine, and placed dishwashers and washing machines on shorter cycles, had showers over baths, shorter showers, communal showers, re-used washing water etc. I still do all that. But that was only a small percentage, and the campaigns and messaging at the time was directed solely towards hose-pipes and car-washing stations.

    The absolute cheek of IW.

    1. Paulus

      From a research and information point of view, we really need to hear more about those communal showers.
      (Rubs palms on thighs)

  2. Dr.Fart

    they’ll try sneak charges in by having a reasonable bar set for excess usage. where it really is excessive. but they’ll change that over time to take in more and more people and before you know it theyre charging everyone. that’s clearly what theyre trying to do.

    In true state style, they’ll hound people for flushing too many plops, but Mr.Buckley in D4 won’t face a penny for washing his cars, at least not after writing a letter outlining who exactly he is.

      1. GiggidyGoo

        Paying once is acceptable. Brendan Howlin increased taxes back in (1997 I think) and the reason of record was to pay for investment in water. Local Government (Financial Provisions) Bill, 1997.
        So our taxes have paid for water. Those taxes didn’t reduce. IW was set up then and a doubling up of payment was attempted.

  3. Kieran Walsh

    I.m not a customer, never was.
    How are they going to deal with that?
    Already paying rise in vat and car tax since 97.
    Wont be paying again.

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