European Commission to probe Wexford water charges
The European Commission is to investigate the issue of people in County Wexford effectively being charged twice for sub-standard supplies by Irish Water.
Former Mayor Cllr George Lawlor raised the issue earlier this year and has just been told that the European Commission's petitions committee had decided that the issues he put forward are admissable within the bounds of the European Commission.
'The committee began its examination of your petition and decided to ask the European Commission to conduct a preliminary investigation of the various aspects of the problem,' committee chair Cecilia Wilkstrom says in a letter from Brussels received by Cllr Lawlor.
'I'm delighted that the chair of the committee has written to me personally to say that the issue is admissable,' said the Labour councillor.
In his petition, Cllr Lawlor said he was submitting it on behalf of the people of Ireland who are supplied with what is described as 'hard water' by Irish Water.
'With the introduction of water charges imminent in Ireland it is clear that these homeowners will essentially be forced to pay twice for their water - firstly for the water they receive and then for its treatment to make it useable in their homes. As an example I will use the area closest to me where I reside and am an elected public representative. 'This area in the county of Wexford close to Wexford Town is served by Mayglass/Fardystown Regional Water Scheme.. this scheme, which began operating in 2002, supplies approximately 8,000 homes in the Wexford urban and rural area. The lime content in this water has been described to me by one official in Wexford County Council as being 'off the scale'. The high lime content is creating major problems for householders with appliances such washing machines, dish washers, showers and kettles requiring replacement on a much more frequent basis than homes with a 'normal' supply. 'The difficulty for these householders is that they, on the introduction of water charges, will effectively be forced to pay twice'.