Suspend charges until water is safe to drink

Two Roscommon councillors are calling for water charges to be suspended for businesses in areas of the county where water is unsafe for consumption.

Cllrs Domnick Connolly and Laurence Fallon have issued a joint letter to Irish Water calling for the current water charges to commercial customers to be suspended in areas where a ‘boil water’ notice is in place.

Many businesses which rely on water in South Roscommon, Castlerea, and Boyle are being forced to buy in supplies because there is a boil water notice on their supply. The notices have been in effect on these supplies since late October when cryptosporidium was detected in the water.

Cllrs Connolly and Fallon say that Deputy Denis Naughten was given a commitment before Christmas by Minister Fergus O’Dowd that “Irish Water should not be allowed to charge for water supplies that are subject to restrictions on health grounds”.

They say that now that Irish Water has taken over responsibility for the supply of water to commercial users, it should not charge businesses such as bars, restaurants, and food processing companies for a supply which the HSE states is unsafe to drink.

“While this does not address the fundamental issue that 90 per cent of people nationally with a boil water notice in place reside in County Roscommon, it will at least act as an acknowledgement to the customers of Irish Water of the financial hardship which they are experiencing and the commitment to have this matter resolved as soon as possible,” said the councillors.

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