Around 300 people have reported breaches of the hosepipe ban

Irish Water has been accused of giving “extremely misleading” messaging on leakages

Around 300 people have reported breaches of the hosepipe ban

Picture by: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive/PA Images

Irish Water is receiving around 75 reports of people breaking the national hosepipe ban every week.

The Irish Examiner reports that the utility has received more than 300 calls from people reporting what they think are breaches.

Irish Water hasn't issued any fines as yet but they have conducted house calls to investigate the reports.

No fines have been issued by the utility has warned that “this remains an option.”

Hosepipe ban

Yesterday, the utility extended the nationwide hosepipe ban until the end of August – despite Met Éireann’s Status Yellow rainfall warning for Friday night.

Irish Water has previously warned that it will take “significant rainfall amounts” to return reservoirs and water supplies to adequate levels – following weeks of dry weather.

The utility's board yesterday heard from water engineering experts within local authorities and agreed that the situation will remain critical up to and possibly beyond mid-August.

Meanwhile water pressure reductions for Dublin will continue for another two weeks.

Leakage

Yesterday, consultant Emma Kennedy said Ireland has “among the worst leakage levels on the planet.”

Ms Kennedy recently compiled a report warning against Irish Water’s plan to build a €1.3bn pipe to supply water from the River Shannon to the Greater Dublin Area.

She has called for the money to be invested in fixing leaking water pipes instead.

She said a 2016 OECD study – which Ireland did not take part in – examined leakage levels in 43 cities across the world.

“Only four of those cities had leakage levels above 40% - all of those were in Mexico,” she said.

“As you know from Irish Waters latest business plan, the average leakage across the State in Ireland is 49%.

“That is network leakage alone. That does not include a single drop of household leakage.”

Europe worst

She said Ireland is the single worst performer on leakage in all of Western Europe – and warned that Irish Water’s messaging on leakage is “extremely misleading.”

Noting that the utility told Oireachtas Committee in April that there were only “one or two” towns and cities within Europe with leakage levels of 10% or below.

She said that is “outright false” and insisted that there “countless towns and cities across Europe with leakage levels of 10% or below.”

“Lisbon is a great example of the fact that it can be done – it can be reduced significantly.

She said the city was reported in 2009 as having leakage levels of 46% and “after an incredibly aggressive leakage reduction programme they have got their leakage down to 8% - so it can be done.”