Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels, pursuant to Section 7 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 which provided for the transfer to Irish Water of all water services functions conferred on the county and city councils by the Water Services Act 2007. Section 32 of the 2007 Act sets out responsibilities in respect of general water services functions and includes the installation and maintenance of meters.
Irish Water has produced Standard Details and a Code of Practice which outlines acceptable design and construction practices for contractors which must be adhered to, to connect to Irish Water infrastructure. I am advised by Irish Water that according to this Code of Practice all new housing developments that are currently being completed by contractors are required to have a meter-ready boundary box installed. Before the establishment of Irish Water, local authorities also applied this requirement. This applies to new houses; houses where the refurbishment requires planning permission; and apartment blocks which will be fitted with bulk meters. These pre-installed meter-ready boundary boxes enable Irish Water to fit meters in developments in a planned programme of works, consistent with recommendations made in the 2017 Report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future Funding of Water Services, in the interests of effective leak detection and conservation of water supplies.