'No harm' if people sued builders
WEXFORD County Council's Director of Planning has said it might be 'no harm' if residents in the county took action against the builders of their estates or homes if pipes were laid at a shallower depth than they should have been.
The issue of frozen and burst pipes was high on the agenda at the recent local authority meeting, where councillors were given a run-down on the many problems experienced throughout County Wexford.
Pipes froze first, depriving many households of water, and then when the thaw set in the same pipes started to burst and there was sever water shortages throughout the county. Homes and, in some cases, entire estates, were left without water.
Director of Services Niall McGuigan pointed out that there were only 16 significant leaks on the public supply lines, but an 'overwhelming number of leaks on the customer side', which caused huge problems.
He acknowledged that there is a definite issue with shallow pipes and stopcocks. He said that around 25,000 houses were built in County Wexford during the last ten years and the building regulations required them to comply with the prescribed depths for these pipes.
However, it's clear that many of them ignored the regulations. Mr McGuigan said it will become clear how bad the problem is when domestic water charges are introduced.
Director of Planning Services Eamonn Hore said that the depth of a stopcock has been a standard condition of all planning grants for many years, but it's clear that there has been 'a failure of the system in some, but not all, estates'.
'Are you suggesting people sue the builder?' asked Cllr Byrne.
'It might be no harm, it's about time someone started taking it seriously,' replied Mr Hore.