Recent Changes in Water Services

Background

On 1st January 2014, Irish Water became the new national water utility that has the responsibility for the delivery of public water and waste water services, taking over the role that was previously held by Local Authorities. 

On 1st January 2015, Irish Water commenced water charges for domestic customers with the first bills scheduled to be issued in April 2015 for usage in arrears. 

All customers connected to the public water main and/or waste water system are now customers of Irish Water, as outlined in the table below from the Commission for Energy Regulation.

Water supplierWastewaterIrish Water Customer?
Public mains Public sewer / own treatment  √
Public group water scheme Public sewer  √
Private group water scheme Own treatment*  X
Private well Public sewer  √
Private well Own treatment*  X

*Septic tank or waste water treatment system

Roles & Responsibilities

Irish WaterIrish Water is the new national water utility responsible for the operation of public water services including management of national water assets, maintenance of the water system, investment and planning, managing capital projects and customer care and billing.

Environmental Protection Agency: The EPA is the national environmental regulator with responsibility for supervising the supply of drinking water by Irish Water and the authorisation of discharges from Irish Water’s waste water treatment plants.

Commission for Energy RegulationThe CER is the economic regulator of public water services.  The CER’s role is to protect the interests of water consumers, ensure water services are delivered in a safe, secure and sustainable manner and that Irish Water operates in an economic and efficient manner.

The interactions between EPA, CER and Irish Water are shown in the diagram below.

 

 

 

EPA’s Responsibilities regarding Drinking Water:

  • Enforcing the Drinking Water Regulations;
  • Assessing notifications of failures to meet the drinking water standards and following up to ensure that Irish Water is taking the necessary action to correct the problems;
  • Auditing drinking water treatment plants;
  • Issuing Directions to Irish Water where necessary to ensure action is taken to fix issues;
  • Investigating drinking water quality complaints not resolved by Irish Water;
  • Publishing an annual report on the quality of drinking water in Ireland, based on the monitoring of drinking water supplies carried out by Irish Water.  

If you are a customer of Irish Water and are requesting to have your water tested, the EPA advises that you should contact Irish Water directly.  The EPA does not carry out drinking water testing on behalf of Irish Water or for members of the public.  For further details on the EPA’s role in resolving water quality complaints please refer to the EPA “Making a complaint about drinking water quality”.    

EPA’s Responsibilities regarding Waste Water:

  • Enforcing the Waste Water Discharge (Authorisation) Regulations and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations;
  • Issuing and enforcing Waste Water Discharge Licences and Certificates of Authorisation.
  • Auditing waste water treatment plants.
  • Investigating waste water and environmental pollution complaints not resolved by Irish Water.
  • Publishing an annual report on urban waste water discharges in Ireland, based on the monitoring of discharges carried out by Irish Water.