Tag Archives: Irish Water

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


Freedom of Information documents obtained by Ken Foxe relating to the documentary The Story of Water, produced by Irish Water

Ken Foxe writes:

The brand of Irish Water had been “badly damaged” and continually “politicised” and the level of public trust & confidence in the company was low, according to creative brief for €800,000 TV documentary ‘The Story of Water‘ that they planned to produce.

Budget for the project had originally allowed for a spend of up to €2million.

This included €942,000 for the documentary itself, which proved cheaper to make (see below).

Also included is a fee for either RTÉ or Virgin to broadcast it … this ended up costing just €1.

This was not “about politics”, “charges or meters”, the brief stated, but instead about ‘educating the Irish public about the size & scale of problems facing Ireland’s water network’.

The documentary was to follow Irish Water’s ‘Tone of Voice’: this being ‘honest and respectful, clear and straight talking, approachable and reliable, experienced and professional’.

The target audience was broken up into four key demographics: advocates, supporters, dissenters and detractors.

Public trust and confidence in Irish Water was tracking at 44%. There was a very low awareness of size and scale of issues faced. And there was a low openness to hearing about future plans & work

The board of Irish Water were told it was time to “shape the conversation” and “move it away from bills and meters”.

The Documentary would help “bust” the ‘fairy story that surrounds Ireland’s water supply and the idea that it is endless’.

The documentary ended up costing just over €800,000, about €137k below the production budget “due to efficiencies”.

Seven in ten people who watched it felt “more confident that Irish Water have projects and plans … underway to address the issues raised”

Good times.

The Story Of Water (Irish Water)

Right To Know

Ken Foxe

Water meter installation in 2014

This afternoon.

The Social Democrats have tabled a Dáil Motion seeking to bring Irish Water under the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General and calling on the Government ‘to commit to holding a referendum on the ownership of Irish Water’.

To wit:

That Dáil Éireann: recognises that:

Irish Water is a fully State funded entity; currently Irish Water does not fall under the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General for financial oversight and audit purposes; serious concerns exist regarding the current operation of Irish Water; and the recent boil water notices, and the inadequate responses of Irish Water, have led to grave concerns for the sustainability of a safe water supply in the future.

We call on the Government to: amend the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993, to bring Irish Water under the auspices of the Comptroller and Auditor General making it amenable to all reporting guidelines and inspection and audit powers of that Office as provided for in the Act; and commit to the holding of a referendum on the pub lic ownership of Irish Water.

The party are contesting the upcoming by-elections in Dublin Mid-West and Fingal, both areas affected by the recent boil water notices.

Dublin West Soc Dem candidate Anne-Marie McNally said:

“The most recent boil water notices affecting parts of Lucan, Clondalkin and Palmerstown have just added to what has been a long running issue with the water supply to some of these areas. In recent years the water supply was changed from Ballymore Eustace to the Leixlip plant and for the past number of years residents have mounted a campaign to restore the original supply.

We now have issues with cloudy water, a strange smell from the water and a very unpalatable taste. Many people also talk about the impact on the damage that the water is causing to their home appliances.

People need to trust their water supply and until Irish Water is in public ownership, I just don’t think that we will be possible.”

Rollingnews

How the ‘monster sewage plant’ in Clonshaugh will look

This morning.

Plans for a €500 million waste water treatment plant in north Dublin have been given the go ahead by An Bord Pleanála.

The facility which local residents labelled a “monster sewage plant” provoked 14,000 objections…

The permission allows for a 12km outfall pipeline to bring the treated wastewater from there to Baldoyle and out to sea for discharge around 1km north east of Ireland’s Eye.

…Local residents, farmers, water sport clubs and environmentalists had opposed the plan fearing the effect on the local land and the sea.

In particular they questioned the effect on Dublin Bay’s UNESCO designation and in particular Ireland’s Eye which will be near the outfall.

Good times.

€500m ‘monster sewage plant’ gets go ahead in Dublin (RTÉ)

Earlier: Sewer Would You Get It?

Oh.

Slightly Bemused writes:

I thought this might be of longer term interest. Given the current boil water notice in Kildare where drinking the water may cause stomach problems, I found it amusing to get this letter in my door today where they are looking to fix the sewerage network in my town. While this work does need to be done, the timing is very funny.

To be fair, it is good to see that they are addressing the known problems. But it also means that just as I got my back garden under control after the last time they dug it up, it is likely to be dug up again…

Earlier: Go To The Source

Chemiwhatnow?

This morning.

Leixlip, County Kildare.

Glum scenes at the very gloomy Leixlip Water Treatment Plant from where a boil water notice was re-issued for parts of Dublin, Kildare and Meath due to “bad weather” less than a fortnight after the last one was lifted.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has revealed the Government considered shutting-off the water supply for homes and businesses that receive their water from this plant, but decided a boil water notice would be less inconvenient.

Yesterday: On The Boil

Chemifloc?

Sam Boal/Rollingnews

Again?

Via RTÉ:

The problem has resulted from very heavy rainfall which has washed large amounts of organic matter into reservoirs, increasing the turbidity – or ‘cloudiness’ – of the source water above acceptable levels.

The older of two water treatment plants at the Leixlip facility has been unable to react fast enough to deal with the rise in turbidity.

However, that older plant produces 20% of the drinking water for the entire greater Dublin area and there is insufficient capacity elsewhere to replace it.

Irish Water said the areas impacted were the same in a previous boil water notice issued last month.

It includes parts of Fingal, areas in Dublin City Council, parts of South Dublin County Council, parts of Kildare and Dunboyne in Meath.

Hmm,

Boil water notice reissued for 600,000 people (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

Last night.

Finglas, Dublin 11

Empty shelves after much of the bottled water was bought from Tesco Clearwater as over 600,000 consumers await an updated from Irish Water.

To wit:

Irish Water cannot confirm how long the boil water notice will remain in force in parts of Dublin, Kildare and Meath but stressed that public safety remains the priority.

Irish Water says the areas affected include: Artane, Ashtown, Balbriggan, Baldoyle, Ballyboghill, Celbridge, Clonee, Clonsilla, Coolock, Coolquoy, Corduff, Darndale, Donabate, Dunboyne, Finglas, Garristown, Glasnevin, Howth, Kilbarrack, Kilclone, Killester, Kinsaley, Leixlip, Lusk, Malahide, Maynooth, Naul, Palmerstown, Poppintree, Ronanstown, Rush, Skerries, St Margaret’s, Straffan, Sutton and Swords.

Yvonne Harris, Head of Customer Operations at Irish Water said the HSE will ultimately make a decision based on EPA findings of water samples

Hmm.

Boil notice remains for parts of Dublin, Kildare and Meath (RTE)

Rollingnews

Update:

All better.

A petition by [Dublin City] Councillor Chris Andrews calling on the Irish government and Irish Water/Ervia to stop breaching the European Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD), to fix the problems which are causing wastewater overflows, and give us a safe, clean and healthy Dublin Bay.

Sign here

Previously: The Brown Water Is Back

A discharge from the Ringsend wastewater treatment plant into Dublin Bay earlier this year

Irish Water has announced in a press release:

Irish Water is carrying out essential maintenance works at the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant in the coming days in order to reduce the risk of odours from the plant.

These works are essential maintenance works on one of the odour control units at the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Plant, and involve replacing carbon odour control media to ensure any odours generated in the primary clarifiers are effectively treated.

There may be intermittent odours while these works are carried out.

The works will start immediately and will take approximately five days. Irish Water would like to apologise for any odours that arise while the work is being carried out.

Previously: ‘Further Discharges Expected’

Pic: Eoin O’Shaughnessy/Dublin City Shots