Residents in disbelief over water meters

Irish Water has run in to big problems in Laois where its actions have met with disbelief from local residents.

Irish Water has run in to big problems in Laois where its actions have met with disbelief from local residents.

In Killenard, some residents were forced to swift action to prevent contractors working on behalf of the water company from installing meters even though they had no right to do so.

The householders in the Killenard Lodge estate did not expect to see Irish Water on their doorsteps as the houses are on a private supply.

The pumping station is located near their homes. One resident to contact the Leinster Express said it is maintained by the builder who built the estate.

However, the residents reacted swiftly and contractors were forced to move on after Irish Water realised it had no right to install meters on a private supply.

Residents of another estate in Killenard claimed modern water meters installed in recent years were dug up and replaced.

While Irish water refute this claim, a similar problem was also highlighted in Portlaoise.

Meanwhile, residents of Carriglea in Killenard said meters had been installed about six years ago in the 55 house estate but were dug up last week and replaced. An angry resident there called it a “pointless exercise” that did not need to be done.

“These were modern meters with electronic tags. It seems a silly waste of time and effort, they have smashed up the whole place, are they going to replace every single new meter in every house built?

“I don’t have a problem paying for water but this is opportunistic, people are making money. Somebody’s paying for it and that’s the taxpayer,” the homeowner said.

A statement from Irish Water said that only empty boxes existed in the paths in both estates, and these were not buried deep enough to use.

“The existing meter boxes were examined and it was not possible to reuse them due to insufficient depth of cover. There were no meters previously installed in these meter boxes,” a spokesperson said.

In the Grange, Borris Road, Portlaoise, residents said paths were dug up about two years ago, and meter boxes installed.

Last Friday they were dug up again by contractors and new meters installed. Residents also say there were meters in the boxes.

“It’s bloody outrageous,” said resident Charlie Reilly.

“Those were brand new meters, in a year, maybe two, never been used. We are paying for two meters. Considering the consultancy fees they charged you would think they would have got that bit right. This is just a farce,” he said.

Mr Reilly had no problem with the idea of paying for drinking water but is angry at the cutbacks in his area.

“They are cutting back on disability work, we’ve got to cut costs and they are wasting money at the same time.

“It is beyond belief,” he said.