Dublin residents are being forced to bear the cost and responsibility for fixing drains in public pathways outside their homes, according to the Fianna Fáil Leader on Dublin City Council Cllr Paul McAuliffe.
The latest fiasco involving Irish Water has come to light after Councillors in Dublin 9 and 11 were told by Council Officials that Irish Water will not take responsibility for unblocking drains at a local Council development. The Super Quango has the authority to approve the work of the City Council drainage department under a service level agreement, but it is forcing residents to pay for and carry out the digging up of paths to fix the drains beneath.
Cllr McAuliffe has described it as ‘a complete farce’ and a direct consequence of the rushed legislative process to introduce Irish Water.
“It is absolutely crazy to expect householders to take responsibility for unblocking and repairing drains under the public footpath or road. I just cannot understand how residents and tenants using a communal drain could be expected to come together and contract a builder to dig up the public road and repair a pipe. It’s unbelievable,” said Cllr McAuliffe.
“While the Water Services Act says the maintenance for private drains is the householder’s responsibility, work outside the garden wall involving public pathways and roads was always undertaken by the Council. Since water services were handed over to Irish Water, the Super Quango is now refusing to approve maintenance work on these drains.
“50% of the water charges we pay is supposed to cover the waste water leaving our homes. But it appears that Irish Water is just happy to collect the money and not take responsibility for the pipes that carry the waste water to the sewer.
“We have now heard it all when it comes to Irish Water. It’s just the latest symptom of deeply flawed legislation that was rammed through by the Government, giving effect to the most costly, ineffective and unaccountable Super Quango in the history of the State. Amendments should have been made to the legislation ensuring that Irish Water was responsible for drain maintenance outside of a private property.”