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Sunday 25 February 2018

Irish Water says no 'new' charging system for farmers, despite TD claims

The average dairy cow drinks 25 gallons of water daily
The average dairy cow drinks 25 gallons of water daily
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Irish Water has refuted claims that billls for water usage for farmers now being issued by Irish Water have increased substantially.

The claim was made by Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway Michael Fitzmaurice.

However, in a statement Irish water said there has been no change to existing billing frequency of bills or method of charging for any customer group, including farmers. 

It said the only change that may be visible is the change in terms of the volume that was used and on occasion the number of days billed in a cycle as this depends on when the meter was read.

Fitzmaurice claimed a new charging system had been put in place which breaks an agreement which was made with the farming organisations some years ago.

According to Fitzmaurice, farmers who have land in a number of locations heretofore paid one service charge for the meter and then they paid for water usage at all the locations, but now he said Irish Water, who have taken over the billing for farmers as they are treated as commercial accounts, are apparently charging the service charge for all the locations.

"It is adding hundreds of Euro to the water bills for some farmers. This flies in the face of an agreement which was made with the farm orginsations some years ago.

"This is a totally unacceptable move and farmers should not be used to replace funds that the Government will have to raise to pay for water services" he said.

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Fitmaurice said he has contacted Irish Water about this situation today and is asking farmers to look carefully at their water bills to see if this extra change has been applied.

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