Residents left fuming over 'false' charges

By AMY LEWIS

Published 28/07/2015 | 00:00

Residents of Carcur cottages with their water bills.
Residents of Carcur cottages with their water bills.

Residents of Carcur cottages in Wexford have expressed their frustration with Irish Water, saying that they are charging them for a service that they do not receive.

Tenants in the 13 houses are being asked to pay for waste water treatment, despite the fact that their waste water runs directly into the River Slaney. Michael Richards, who has been living in one of the cottages since 2014, said that Irish Water are 'committing fraud'.

'These cottages were built in 1874 when there was no waste water treatment system,' he said. 'The water still goes to the same place.'

Michael contacted Irish Water regarding his own home and had the charge removed from his bill. However, his neighbours have been told that the charge still stands.

'I called them up about it and they told me that I was hooked up to their system,' said one resident. 'They just don't listen.'

As several of the other residents are elderly, Michael decided to act on their behalf.

'I rang up on behalf of my 85-year-old neighbour,' he explained. 'Unfortunately, she had already paid her first bill.'

Despite his efforts, Irish Water would not speak with him regarding another person's bill due to data protection rules.

Michael later contacted Irish Water on his own behalf, asking why the waste water charge was removed from his bill while others were still being charged. He was told that the removal of the charge from his bill was 'an error' and that 'the bill still stands'.

'They told me that I was hitched up to the sewerage system,' he said. 'They basically called me a liar.'

According to Damian, who is also a resident of the cottages, the situation is a 'farce'.

'I'd like to know where they get these figures from,' he said.

Jay is also frustrated with the charge, which he does not plan on paying.

'If we refuse to pay they might listen to us,' he said.

The residents of Carcur cottages invited Irish Water to their homes to inspect the pipes.

'They refused to visit,' said Michael.

When contacted, Irish Water would not comment on the issue.

'We can't discuss issues regarding specific clients due to data protection laws,' said a spokesperson.

Wexford People

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