Leakage from Irish Water’s network is “unacceptable” by any measure, the first report from the State’s newly-established Water Advisory Body (WAB) has concluded.
In a far-from-complimentary assessment the organisation stressed “the management and improvement of the drinking and waste water network requires significant and sustained action, particularly in the areas of leakages, mains repairs and waste water treatment.”
The report said that “Increasing public confidence in Irish Water is dependent on visible action in those key areas”.
WAB agreed with the country’s Environmental Protection Agency that deficiencies in the republic’s waste water treatment were not being addressed “at a fast-enough pace”. WAB stressed it “would expect improvement in this area”.
The body noted that compliance with the EU Urban Waste Water Directive was “poor”. “It is not acceptable that there are still 28 large towns and cities discharging sewage that fails to meet these standards.” it said.
The report said while Irish Water’s mains replacement rate of 0.33 per cent was “within a range comparable with other similar entities”, it agreed with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities’ view that the replacement rate “will need to be higher given Irish Water’s infrastructure is likely to be older and in worse condition on average”.
WAB also highlighted that total forecast spend across Irish Water's five biggest capital investment projects was now €2,364 million, compared with €2,070 million under the utilities’ 2016 Investment Plan.