Water Rates: What, When and Why You'll Be Paying This New Utility Bill

So did you spend last night flushing the toilet until you got repetitive strain injury, filling up pots, pans, kettles and washing every stitch of clothes that you own? If you didn't, you missed out. And you're going to pay for it, literally.

The water charges came into affect today but the first bill won't arrive with a fat thud onto your mat until January. And it's actually a stroke of genius - people will be terrified by the arrival of yet another bill and will make themselves a cup of tea to contemplate where the hell they are going to find the money to pay it. But see, this only adds to their water-y coffers.

So, what's going on here? Have we managed to avoid paying for water up until now and so fair enough, it's time to pay for the service? And even though the distribution system has a fair few holes in it and in some areas like Roscommon, the water that comes out of the tap isn't actually drinkable but that's grand because, sure, isn't it free anyway? In short, no.

The costs associated with the water system have, up until now, been taken from the general exchequer. But now we are going to fund it directly so that the general exchequer is freed up for other expenditures (questionable and otherwise).

Well that's the end of my bubble bath I s'pose Well that's the end of my bubble bath I s'pose

So show will it work? My understanding is that the assessed rate will be capped for the next nine months for those who do not have meters installed - one adult homes will pay € 176, with a charge of €102 for each additional adult and no charge for the number of children in the household. Every home will get an allowance of 30,000 litres, and homes with children under 18 will get an additional allowance of 21,000 litres per child.

Metered rates work out at €4.88 for 1,000 litres for households requiring both drinking and waste (e.g. septic tanks) usage, with the cost being €2.44 if only one of the two options are required. And if you do live somewhere where the water is not fit for human consumption, you'll get a 50% discount on the supply element of the service.

So what does this mean in practical terms? Well, studies show that the average adult uses about 52,000 litres per year. A power shower using 80 litres will work out at 38 cent, while a toilet flush will set you back around 5 cent for the 10 litres used. Holy crap.


Day-to-day, these are minute charges. It's the incremental cost and the weight of yet another bill gobbling up your pay cheque. And I'm not sure if we are jaded, broken or just placid as a nation, but weren't we a hell of a lot more bothered about the Garth fiasco?


But it does offer an opportunity for the Catholic church to get their grip back on the nation - they just need to reverse that wedding of Cana trick.

Have you already registered for your water charges? Are you worried about paying next year's bill or do you think it's a necessary outlay? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

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