Tipperary County Council
Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh,
Co. Tipperary
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Telephone:
+353(0)761 065000
9.30 - 4.30 Mon-Fri
9.00 - 1.00 Mon-Fri (Motor Tax)
Tipperary County Council Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Tipperary County Council Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
customerservices@tipperarycoco.ie

Welcome to Water Services

Irish Water

Irish Water is the new national water utility and is now responsible for managing the delivery of water services to homes and businesses in Ireland. For further information or to report an issue with:

  • Water supply
  • Water quality
  • Wastewater

Please contact Irish Water (Details Below).

Please note that the Irish Water Customer Contact Call Centre will operate on a 24 hour, 7 day a week basis. Queries made to the Call Centre during out-of-hours will be logged for the next working day unless they relate to an emergency. Emergencies will be passed to the Council for appropriate response, which response will be mobilised as per the current practice in respect of such emergencies.

As stated above, there are exceptions to this new arrangement, which relate to services for which the Council retains responsibility. In these cases, customer queries will continue to be accepted by the Water Services Section of the Council and responded to as per the current practice in respect of same. These exceptions are the customer queries in relation to:

  1. Group Water Supply Schemes
  2. Grants for the Improvement of Domestic Water Supplies (Well Grants)
  3. Public Conveniences
  4. Water Safety (Issues pertaining to lifebuoys etc.)
  5. Swimming Pools
  6. historic water accounts in respect of water and wastewater services used prior to 01 January 2014.
  7. DOMESTIC LEAD REMEDIATION GRANT

Please note that the registration of domestic wastewater treatment systems (septic tanks) and matters pertaining thereto, will continue to be responded to by the Environment Section, based at the Old Museum, Parnell Street, Clonmel and that queries in the future raised by tenants of Council houses in relation to their water and/or wastewater services will not be handled by Irish Water unless they relate to public services.

FAQs

Drinking Water

What is a “Remediation of Domestic Lead Piping Grant”?

The grant is available to assist owners of premises connected to a domestic water supply with the costs of replacing lead piping or related fittings located within the internal distribution system of the premises, as defined in the Water Services Act 2007. The premises concerned must be occupied by the applicant as his or her principle private residence. Those who qualify will be in the low to middle income bracket, (€50,000 = €4,000; €50,001 - €75,000 = €2,500).

Where can I obtain an Application Form and to whom do I apply for this Grant?

Tipperary County Council, Water Services, Civic Offices, Limerick Road, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

What does Internal Distribution System mean in relation to the Domestic Lead Remediation Grant?

For the purposes of the Domestic Lead Remediation Grant, this phrase refers to the water system within your home, containing the piping, fittings and plumbing.

What is intended by “the curtilage of your premises”?

Your garden, path, driveway, or that area of your property, through which pipe network runs in order to connect your home to the public supply.

Am I Eligible for a Domestic Lead Remediation Grant?

You will need to complete an application form for a Domestic Lead Remediation Grant and submit this with supporting documentation to Tipperary County Council, Water Services, Civic Offices, Limerick Road, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, in order to receive a definite decision regarding eligibility. You may be eligible for assistance if:

you have a notification from a Water Supplier advising that there is likely to be lead plumbing, (pipes and fittings), within the curtilage of your premises; or

you have a Certificate issued within the 6 months immediately prior to the date of application by a Laboratory, which is Accredited for testing for lead in drinking water, which shows a parametric value for lead in the water supply at your premises which exceeds the statutory limit. Currently the Statutory Limit is 10μg/l, (10micrograms per litre). The Laboratory issuing that Certificate must be Accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board, (INAB). Health Services Executive is an Accredited Laboratory for the purpose;

your Household Income is within the limits set, (low to middle income bracket, €50,000 = €4,000; €50,001 - €75,000 = €2,500);

the approved cost of works to be carried out is greater than €200.

What supporting documentation do I need for a Domestic Lead Remediation Grant?

Evidence of Household Income:

Persons in the PAYE, (Pay as You Earn category), need a Balancing Statement or equivalent document, P60s, for the Tax Year before the year of application;

Persons who are Self-Employed need a Notice of Income Tax Assessment or equivalent;

Both Balancing Statements and Notices of Income Tax Assessment are issued by the Revenue Commissioners. Equivalent documents include signed statements or letters issued by the Revenue Commissioners, showing the Taxable Income for the Tax year before the application was made.

Persons with an Income from Social Welfare need a Statement of Taxable Income from the Department of Social Protection.

Contractor Carrying Out the Work:

Receipts from each Contractor you engaged to carry out replacement work. These documents must outline the work carried out and the cost associated;

Certification from those Contractors who did the work to the effect that all materials used, (pipes and fittings), are of appropriate quality and that the proper standard of workmanship has been applied.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to satisfy themselves that all Contractors engaged are competent to carry out the work and suitable materials are used.

Neither the County Council or Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government will guarantee the works carried out. Payment of a Grant will not indicate that either body has responsibility in this regard or endorses the quality of work carried out;

Evidence of Tax Clearance for each Contractor engaged to carry out work. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the Contractor they engage has such evidence.

Letter from Water Supplier advising that there may be lead piping present in the Applicant’s home; or
A Certificate issued within the 6 months immediately prior to the date of application by a Laboratory, which is accredited by Irish National Accreditation Board, (INAB), for testing for lead in drinking water, which shows a parametric value for lead in the water supply at your premises which exceeds the statutory limit. Currently the Statutory Limit is 10 μg/l, (10 micrograms per litre). The Laboratory issuing that Certificate must be accredited by the INAB.
Some Accredited Laboratories are:
Public Health Microbiology Laboratory, University College Hospital, Microbiology Testing Laboratory, Newcastle Road, Galway. Phone: (091) 4 54 47 86, email : enda.burke@hse.ie ;

City Analysts, Shannon Town Centre, Shannon, Co. Clare.  (061) 36 00 3;

Environmental Laboratories Services Ltd., Acorn Business Campus, Mahon Industrial Park, Cork.  Phone (021) 45 36 141, email: info@elsltd.com;

ALS Ltd., Carrigeen Business Park, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Phone (052) 61 78 100, email: information.ireland@alsglobal.com ;

DO NOTE - this is not a full list of Accredited Laboratories. Contact the INAB at Phone No 1890 289 389 for a full listing. You do need to have the Laboratory you engage confirm that they are accredited for the purpose of testing for lead in drinking water under the Drinking Water Regulations.

If I qualify for a Domestic Lead Remediation Grant when will my grant be paid?

Once work is carried out and all supporting documents are on file, there will need to be an inspection of the work done by County Council personnel. You will need to complete a Bank Details form and forward this to the County Council, (Tipperary County Council makes payment by way of EFT).

Who is a Water Supplier for the Purposes of a Domestic Lead Remediation Grant?

Irish Water is a Water Supplier for the public water schemes. During the National Metering exercise IW will have identified a number of houses where there may be lead piping present. In those cases IW will have issued a letter to this effect to the homeowners. This letter will suffice to attach to one’s application for the grant.

You may have a connection to a Group Water Scheme, and that local Group Water Scheme is a Water Supplier in such circumstances.

If you are sharing a private well with another user, the owner of the private well is the Water Supplier in such a case.

My water source is from my own well. I do have lead plumbing within my home – can I apply for a Domestic Lead Remediation Grant?

Yes, you can. You will require a Certificate from an Accredited Laboratory for testing for lead in drinking water. The Accreditation must be by the Irish National Accreditation Board, (INAB). There are other conditions with which you need to comply.

I carried out works in 2015 – can I apply for a Domestic Lead Remediation Grant?

No the Grant Scheme came into effect in February, 2016. Work carried out before 12/02/2016 does not qualify.

Are there Income Limits for the Domestic Lead Remediation Grant?

Yes.

The level of Grant aid available is determined on the basis of gross household income. That is the gross income of the home owner(s).

Household Income up to €50,000, a Grant maximum of 80% of approved costs or €4,000 is available - whichever is the lesser figure;

Household Income between €50,001 and €75,000, a Grant maximum of 50% of approved costs or €2,500 is available - whichever is the lesser figure;

Household Income greater than €75,000 - there is no Grant available.

What is intended by the phrase “gross household income” for the Domestic Lead Remediation Grant?

Home Owner’s gross income, (that before tax), along with the gross income of the Home Owner’s Spouse in the year prior to that of submitting an application. So where one submits an application on 10th August, 2016, the income documentation should relate to the year 01/01/2015 – 31/12/2015.

Is there a minimum expenditure in order to qualify for a Domestic Lead Remediation Grant?

Yes, work with an approved cost of €200 or less does not qualify for assistance.

Water and Waste Water Charges

What decisions has the Government made to date in relation to water charges?

  • Each household will receive a free allowance of 30,000 litres of water supply (and a corresponding allowance for wastewater) per annum (for primary residences only).
  • Each household will receive an additional allocation for every child under 18 (with entitlement aligned with child benefit) to cover the normal water consumption of a child.
  • The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government will use his powers to issue a policy direction to the CER:
  • the domestic charging regime will be fixed for 2015 and 2016;
  • for social and environmental reasons, there will be no standing charge for domestic customers (a minimum charge may be applied to properties that are not permanently
    occupied e.g. holiday homes);
  • Assessed charges will be based primarily on occupancy and possibly refined based on data from metered usage to ensure that they are as close a proxy for metered usage as possible;
  • the CER to ensure provision is made for retrospective adjustment of charges including a rebate (above a reasonable threshold) in the context of transitional arrangements for
    people from moving from assessed to metered home;
  • Charges to be capped for people with high water usage due to certain medical conditions; and Irish Water to take account of the quality of services provided to customers, including circumstances where services are reduced or restricted (e.g. due to boil water notices).
  • Irish Water will receive an operational subvention averaging in excess of €530m in 2015 and 2016, and provision is being made to provide equity of just over €400m in equity to Irish Water in 2015 and 2016 (this is in addition to a capital provision of €240m by way of equity in 2014). This will bring the overall capital programme in 2015 and 2016 to over €400m - €100m higher than current levels.
  • Irish Water will deliver a free first fix scheme, entitling every household to a free fix of the first
    leak identified on a customer’s water supply pipe.
  • The Government will adjust the subsidy to group water schemes to ensure that households in
    that sector receive equitable support by comparison with households on public water supplies.

How much will households pay in water charges?

The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government has stated that the circa €537
million per annum in Government subvention of Irish Water in 2015 and 2016 will be conditional on
the average water charge for households being €240 per year, subject to final assessment by the
Commission for Energy Regulation.

How has the average water charge figure been calculated?

This average figure has been calculated on the basis of the projected operational and capital costs of
Irish water based on a high level model and various CSO data. The CER will be reviewing Irish Water
costs in detail to ensure that only efficiently incurred expenditure is passed on to customers.

When will the actual price for water be known?

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) will make a final decision on the level of water charges
in August, following public consultation on Irish Water’s water charges plan. It has commenced
public consultation on the tariff structure and design. The CER will outline decisions in June 2014
based on the outcome of this consultation and the policy direction of the Minister.

How will the Irish Water bill be structured?

For households fitted with an Irish Water meter when charging commences, charges will be based on usage above a free allowance. Each household will receive a free allowance of 30,000 litres of water (and a corresponding amount of waste water treated) a year. To put this in context: the average household (2.7 people) uses about 140,000 litres of water per year in relation to its primary residence.
In addition, households will receive from Irish Water a free allowance to cover a child’s normal consumption of water supplied and waste water treated so that charges only apply to adults in households.
The allowance per child will be up to 38,000 litres per annum - the level of consumption underpinning this allowance to be verified from actual metering data); charges will be based on usage above the free allowance. The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) will, following public consultation, determine the water tariff as part of Irish Water’s water charges plan – the CER has indicated that this will be finalised in August.
Households connected to the public systems but without an Irish Water meter will be charged on an assessed basis, using a good proxy for usage. The CER will, following public consultation, determine the assessed water tariff as part of Irish Water’s water charges plan, which will be finalised in August.
In addition, the Minister will be issuing the CER with a direction, using his statutory powers, to provide that:

  • the fixing of domestic charges for 2015 and 2016;
  • there will be no standing charge for domestic customers for social and environmental
    reasons (a minimum charge may be applied to properties that are not permanently
    occupied e.g. holiday homes);
  • assessed charges will be based primarily on occupancy and possibly refined based on
    data from metered usage to ensure that they are as close a proxy for metered usage as
    possible;
  • the CER to ensure provision is made for retrospective adjustment of charges including a
    rebate (above a reasonable threshold) in the context of transitional arrangements for
    people from moving from assessed to metered home;
  • charges to be capped for people with high water usage due to certain medical
    conditions; and
  • Irish Water to take account of the quality of services provided to customers, including
    circumstances where services are reduced or restricted (e.g. due to boil water notices).

What is the timeline for remaining decisions regarding water charges?

During 2014, the CER is expected to publicly consult and make decisions on a number of issues,
including:

  • domestic water charges tariff design and structure;
  • non-domestic water charges tariff structure and glide path;
  • Irish Water’s interim revenue requirement (2014 to mid-2016);
  • customer protection measures, including codes of practice; and
  • connection charging methodology.
  • The current timeline for the CER’s public consultations and decisions is:

April

  • Domestic tariff structure (part of water charges plan) – consultation underway
  • Non-domestic tariff structure and glidepath (part of water charges plan) – consultation underway
  • Water customer handbook – consultation underway

June

  • Water charges plan (including allowed revenue, tariff structures and levels, and connection charging methodology) – consultation
  • This paper will include draft decisions on the domestic tariff structure, non-domestic tariff structure and glidepath, and connection charging policy

July

  • Water Customer Handbook (decision)

August

  • Water Charges Plan (decision)

When will households receive their first water charges bill and how will bills be structured?

Water charges will commence on 1 October 2014, but households can expect to receive their first
bills in Quarter 1 2015, with bills issued in arrears, similar to domestic electricity and gas bills.

What level will the standing charge for water charges be – will it be 33% as suggested by Irish Water?

There will be no standing charge for domestic customers but a minimum charge may be applied to properties that are not permanently occupied e.g. holiday homes.

What is the level of free allowance for water charges?

Each household will receive a free allowance of 30,000 litres of supplied water (and a corresponding amount of waste water) a year per primary residence. In addition, households will receive an additional free allowance for every child under 18 (aligned with entitlement to child benefit) to cover a child’s normal consumption of water supplied and waste water treated (this will be up to 38,000 litres per annum - the level of consumption underpinning this allowance to be verified from actual metering data); effectively, water charges will only apply to adults.
This means for a family of 2 adults and 2 young children, using about 190,000 litres of water, the free
allowance will be 106,000 litres - more than 50% of their usage.

If there is no standing charge, will people have to pay water charges on second homes?

While water charges will be based on usage with no free allowance in a second home – where they are not permanently occupied a minimum charge may be applied. This will be considered by the CER. Therefore, any water usage in non-primary residences will be charged.

What other affordability measures for water charges are being provided apart from the free allowance?

People with high water usage for certain medical conditions will have their bills capped at the relevant assessed charge.
The absence of a standing charge for domestic customers will benefit smaller households, who can then manage their usage, and the free allowance for children will
benefit families.
Irish Water’s water charges plan will have to take account of the quality of services provided to customers, including circumstances where services are reduced or restricted (e.g. due to boil water notices).

Will Irish Water’s domestic customers in mixed use premises (i.e. a property with a business and a household) have the same free allowance as domestic customers in households?

The CER will make a determination on this following public consultation on the non-domestic tariff structure. However, the Minister envisages that any decision by the CER will be guided by the principle of equity for all customers with a domestic supply.

What medical conditions will qualify people for the capping of water charges bills?

The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government will issue a direction to the CER, following consultation with the Minister for Health, the HSE and Irish Water on qualifying conditions, which will for example include people using home kidney dialysis.

What informed the Government’s approach towards the free allowance, affordability supports and its other decisions for water charges?

The Government has sought, through its decisions on the free allowance, to protect larger families and households with single occupants, groups identified through work by an inter-Departmental group (IDG) on affordability measures issues as being potentially vulnerable. These groups and people with high water usage due to medical conditions were also identified by the community and voluntary pillar of social partnership, which engaged with the IDG. The IDG will continue to work to oversee the practical administrative arrangements for the free allowance.

Will there be rebates on water charges?

The CER has commenced public consultation on the proposed structure of tariffs and this includes consideration of transitional arrangements for people moving from assessed to metered charges. The Minister has indicated his intention that CER should in this context ensure provision for retrospective adjustment of charges including a rebate (above a reasonable threshold).

Who is responsible for paying domestic water charges?

The occupier of a premises is liable for paying domestic water charges. Under the Water Services (No.2) Act 2013, it is presumed that the owner of a premises is the occupier unless proved otherwise. Where a customer fails to pay a charge, it shall be recoverable by Irish Water as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

How might a rebate system work on water charges?

The Minister intends issuing a direction to the CER requiring it to ensure provision for retrospective
adjustment of charges, i.e. a household’s charges will be adjusted if assessed bills are higher, and
above a certain threshold, than metered usage shows they should have been.

What happens if people do not pay their water charges bills?

Irish Water will have measures in place to allow for ease of payment of Bills. In the case of failure to pay, Irish Water is empowered to reduce water pressure in order to restrict supply. Water disconnection due to non-payment of domestic water charges is prohibited. If a customer fails to pay a water charge, it shall be recoverable by Irish Water as a contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Irish Water will be required to ensure in the water charges plan submitted to the CER that free allowances are only applied to households who pay their charges in a timely manner i.e. where charges are paid in accordance with the approved water charges plan or an approved agreement.

Who will be a customer of Irish Water?

Residences in the following cases would be customers of Irish Water.

  • Where the residence is connected to the public mains and a public sewer.
  • Where the residence is connected to the public mains but has its own waste water treatment such as a septic tank or other waste water treatment system
  • Where the residence is connected to a group water scheme and uses a public sewer.
  • Where the residence has its own private well and uses a public sewer.
    Residences in the following cases would not be customers of Irish Water.
  • Where the residence is connected to a group water scheme and has its own waste water treatment such as a septic tank or other waste water treatment system
  • Where the residence has its own private well and has its own waste water treatment such as a septic tank or other waste water treatment system

What happens after 2016 in relation to water charges?

It is anticipated that Government subvention to Irish Water will continue beyond 2016. Decisions on water charges beyond 2016 will be decided in advance of the next Irish Water revenue control period, 2016-2022.
The level of charges beyond 2016 will reflect the Government’s policy in relation to free allowances
and the utility’s changing financial model as well as the need for extra investment to tackle the current infrastructural deficit.
The fact that Irish Water is a commercial semi-state body, with borrowing not included on the general government balance, provides alternatives for more sustainable funding for the sector.

What households will receive a free water charges allowance?

Primary residences will receive a free household allowance. Free allowances for children will also apply to primary residences. Non-principal private residences (such as holiday homes) will not receive a free household allowance.

What happens next in relation to water charges?

The CER has commenced public consultation on the proposed structure of tariffs. The Minister will publish the proposed direction to the CER in draft form, and so there will be ample opportunity for engagement on these issues in advance of the final setting of the charges by the CER in August 2014.
Consultation by the CER in late June will provide information on the financial costs of Irish Water and the proposed level and structure of charges.
Irish Water will deal with all the practical arrangements flowing from the CER consideration and Government decisions, including direct engagement with customers on qualifying for the free allowance as the process develops.

Will there be provision for customers to apportion a free water charge allowance between more than one residence?

No. The free allowance is for a person’s primary residence.

Will there be different payment options for Irish Water?

Irish Water will announce details of payment options in due course, as agreed with the CER, which has powers of direction over Irish Water to produce codes of practice relating to performance standards, customer billing, payment methods, Irish Water communication to customers and customer complaints.
It is expected that, similar to payment systems for the other utility services, there will be a range of flexible payment options available for customers of Irish Water.
Irish Water has signalled its intention to introduce a range of payment options for customers, including an easy payment option for customers who wish to make regular payments of not less than €10 per transaction.

Why do we need to pay for water?

Water and wastewater services are expensive and require increased infrastructural investment after years of under investment. The current funding situation, with only approximately 15% of costs borne directly by users, is unsustainable.
The public water system requires urgent and increased investment. 23,500 people are on boil water notices. 40% of our water supply is lost on leakage. 16% of our water supplies are at risk, affecting over 1 million people.
One-third of secondary waste water treatment plants had inadequate effluent standards in 2012.
There is virtually no spare supply capacity in Dublin. With increased investment, these issues can be addressed.
In order to secure extra investment in water services (to improve water quality, tackle pollution and address leakage), the Government is applying the user pays principle to water services. Those who use water will pay for it directly.

What will happen to households on a group water scheme?

The current subvention of group water schemes will be adjusted to align subvention with the free allowance approach towards households on public water supplies to ensure households in this sector receive equivalent support, while allowing for any transitional issues, to sustain improvements in quality in the group water sector. The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government will consult with the National Federation of Group Water Schemes on arrangements for the group water sector.

How do I find out if I will be metered by the time water charges commence?

Households can contact Irish Water’s customer contact centre (Ph: 1890 278 278), which will provide an indicative timetable for when meters will be installed in a certain area.

Water Conservation

How can I proactively monitor my water usage when the meter is underground?

People can identify leakage by performing a meter reading before and after a period when the house is unoccupied and no appliance requiring water is in use.
This can be done by lifting the lid of the meter, noting the reading, and checking it again after returning.
In addition people can regularly check their water meter readings so see how many cubic metres (1 cubic meter equals 1,000 litres) have been used.
The average water usage per person in Ireland is estimated at 145 litres per day).

Water Services

What are the details of the free first fix scheme?

Irish Water will deliver a free first fix scheme, entitling every household to a free fix of the first leak on a customer’s water supply pipe, between the property boundary to within one metre of a property. The scheme is estimated to cost some €51 million to the end of 2016. Details will be announced by Irish Water in due course.

When will the free first fix scheme commence?

The commencement date and other details of the scheme will be announced by Irish Water shortly.

Will households that have already been metered be able to avail of the free first fix scheme?

Yes. The commencement date and other details of the scheme will be announced by Irish Water shortly.

What is the annual cost of water services?

The annual cost of water services is over €1 billion per annum. The Government’s decisions on
subvention and allowance were based on the level of funding required by Irish Water during 2015
and 2016 and an average level of domestic water charges that will contribute to the funding of water
services.

What are the Regulator’s powers in water regulation?

The CER is the independent economic regulator of Irish Water. The CER retains the power to advise
the Minister on development and delivery of water services. It will:

  • set performance standards for the new utility;
  • examine Irish Water’s operational costs and capital plans and approve water charges plans in the light of these costs; and
  • have powers of direction over Irish Water to produce codes of practice relating to performance standards, customer billing, payment methods, Irish Water information
    communication to customers, and customer complaints.

The Minister for the Environment may give the CER a direction of a general policy nature, which the CER must comply with. Such directions will only be given with adequate reasoning, consultation and advanced notice.
Public consultation will form part of CER’s decision-making processes. It has already held a public
consultation on a proposed economic regulatory framework, which will inform the CER’s advice to
the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government on economic regulation. It is
currently holding public consultations on the structure of the domestic and non-domestic tariffs, and on customer protection measures.

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Irish Water

Web: www.water.ie
Twitter: @IrishWater

Telephone: 1890 278 278 (LoCall)
Minicom: 1890 378 378

(For hearing impaired customers with minicom equipment)

Postal Address: Irish Water, PO Box 860, South City Delivery Office, Cork City