Sunday 11 December 2016

Money will have to be found somewhere to fund works on creaking system

Published 02/03/2016 | 02:30

Irish Water plans spending €5.5bn out to 2021 upgrading the network
Irish Water plans spending €5.5bn out to 2021 upgrading the network

It's only now that Irish Water is beginning to ascertain the extent of the problems in the network. The utility has a relatively good handle on what's happening in the drinking and wastewater treatment plants - although the picture is far from entirely clear. But the latest tranche of studies is aimed at discovering just what is happening beneath our feet.

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It simply doesn't know what parts of the sewerage network need investment, because local authorities were never in a position to carry out the necessary studies. Not until that work is complete, and thousands of kilometres of sewers are mapped, can it develop long-term investment plans and commit funding to fix the problems.

Under the old system, each council was largely concerned with what was happening within its borders. For the most part, the needs of the county took precedence over the needs of the country.

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