22 December 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Utility should reimburse hard water users for resultant expense says Colr Bennett


Irish Water should compensate people in Co Monaghan who have been put to expense because of the hardness of their domestic water supply.

This argument was made at the December meeting of Monaghan Co Council by Sinn Féin representative Cathy Bennett, who has been crusading on behalf of people in the Scotstown, Ballinode and Smithboro areas who want something done to soften the quality of the water coming out of their taps.

Colr Bennett was reacting to a letter the Co Council received from Irish Water’s Peter Gallagher, who said that the utility was aware of the hardness of water in the areas concerned.

The correspondence continued: “Irish Water has to prioritise its investment programme to ensure all water meets Drinking Water Standards. Hardness is not a requirement to meet the Drinking Water Standards.

“Irish Water monitors the drinking water quality for public supplies in accordance with the European Communities (Drinking Water) (No.2) Regulation 2007 and SI No.122 of 2014 – EU (Drinking Water) Regulations 2014. These regulations specify that water authorities are to provide ‘wholesome and clean water that meets the requirements of the regulations’.

“The issue of hard water is a separate matter related to the mineral content (particularly calcium carbonate derived from limestone catchments). There is no reference to, or limits for, hardness in the EC Drinking Water Directive or in the EC (Drinking Water) (No.2) Regulations 2007.

“Irish Water is not preparing an upgrade programme for the treatment plant or a project to blend water for this scheme at this time.”

Colr Bennett recalled that the Co Council at its recent Annual Budget Meeting had adopted her proposal seeking funding for a treatment plant that would address the hard water issue in various parts of the county.

“Irish Water has no intention of helping the people with the hardness issue,” she stated. “Are they willing to compensate people for the additional charges they face on a regular basis of replacing domestic appliances and purchasing water softening devices?”

Pat Treanor commended his party colleague Colr Bennett for lobbying very hard to address the hard water issue in Smithboro, Scotstown and Ballinode.

“People need to be treated with a wee bit of respect and equality, and I would support Colr Bennett’s call for compensation,” Colr Treanor stated.

“We have made positive proposals for change but they have not been taken up.”

The Council agreed on Colr Bennett’s proposal, Colr Treanor seconding, to write to Irish Water seeking compensation for households and businesses supplied with hard water who incurred additional charges replacing appliances and installing water softeners.


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