Westmeath water leakage “beggars belief” - councillor

Almost 40 per cent of the water produced in Westmeath is being lost through leakage - a fact that prompted one councillor to question why anyone should have to pay the water charges to be introduced next year.

Cllr Aidan Davitt was informed that the present unaccounted-for water figure for the county is 39 per cent, and for the Mullingar town area is 28 per cent. This includes leakage on both the customer side and on the main supply side.

He said the figures were “shocking”.

“I’m led to believe it is going to cost €500 million to introduce water meters - for what? It beggars belief,” said Cllr Davitt.

“People are not going to be fooled - to ask people to pay for water when 40 per cent of it is missing will be flogging a dead horse. I won’t be supporting water charges.”

However, the council’s director of services David Hogan pointed out that the figures are below the national average of 43 per cent.

“A lot of the leakage is happening where pipes are old or the soil conditions are poor,” he explained.

He said the council expects to see significant improvements following the completion of the Mullingar and Athlone water rehabilitation schemes, which involve an investment of over €10 million in the county’s water supply infrastructure.


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