Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (117)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

117. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if Irish Water will accept applications for the takeover and maintenance of group water schemes; the billing process for customers of group water schemes when water charges are introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5057/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013, provides for the transfer of water services functions from the 34 water services authorities to Irish Water. Under the legislation Irish Water now has the powers previously held by local authorities in relation to the takeover of Group Water Schemes and this means that Irish Water may acquire by agreement a waterworks or waste water works, but subject to not fewer than two thirds of those entitled to dispose of it (typically the members of a group water services scheme) giving their consent.

Where Local Authorities had, at the request of Group Water Schemes, already taken them into charge before 31 December 2013, the schemes' networks now form part of the public water supply network being transferred to Irish Water.  Group Water Schemes that are supplied by way of a connection to the public water supply network will now become customers of Irish Water, having previously been customers of the relevant local authority. Private Group Water Schemes that own their own water sources will not be customers of Irish Water and will continue to operate as before.