Advisor rounds on Irish Water over treatment and leakage

Irish Water has been heavily criticised by the independent body that monitors its performance and reports to the minister in charge of the sector.

The Water Advisory Body (WAB]) has complained about slow progress in cleaning up sewage discharges, leakage from the supply system and making sure drinking water meets required standards. WAB’s latest report takes the company to task over the well-documented fact that some 33 towns and villages will be discharging raw sewage after 2021.

The semi state-controlled company has acknowledged that leakage from its water supply networks is at unacceptable levels and well above international norms.

WAB’s report also highlighted that “growing uncertainty in Irish Water’s planning and delivery of critical improvements to water treatment plants is undermining confidence in the security of supply of safe drinking water.”

WAB chairman, Paul McGowan, said the utility must make better progress on its strategic investments. Irish Water said that while significant achievements have been made in upgrading water and wastewater infrastructure “the size and scale of the legacy issues, planning and land acquisition delays; the need to reprioritise investment to respond to emerging needs; and funding constraints has resulted in slower progress than initially forecast”.