Now we know why Irish Water is costing so much to run - the admin costs alone must be through the roof judging by the length of a written communication recently sent to Portlaoise Town Council.
At County Hall last week, Cllr Rotimi Adebari called on Irish Water to improve the quality of water in Portlaoise ensuring the issue of hard water is addressed before billing commences.
He received a wordy response from Irish Water, which was read out by town clerk Pamela Tynan, in which the company claimed there are no issues with local water.
Challenging the Irish Water remarks, Cllr Adebari pointed out that people in Laois regularly have to replace kettles which are damaged by hard water and he said it was high time something was done about it.
“I don’t want a bill every month, and then have to replace my kettle and pay for water that damages my washing machine,” he said.
He went on to say that people are having to buy water softeners and will also have to pay their water bills, which would be “a double whammy”.
In their communication, Irish Water claimed that “the water supplied to Portlaoise is compliant with the EU and national regulations for drinking water,” before they went on to outline in exhaustive detail EPA parameters.
“The issue of hard water is a separate matter related to the mineral content, particularly calcium carbonate derived from limestone catchments,” the response continued. “This does not create any health issues for consumers.”
The company said that water softening “is not material to public health and is not generally provided for in public water supplies”.
“We trust that people will recognise the limits of what Irish Water can deliver on in the context of the technical and financial challenges which the sector faces and the limits of affordability for customers,” they concluded.
After listening to the response, Cllr Willie Aird wryly remarked: “That’s a lengthy reply, no wonder it’s costing so much money to keep them in work.”