IT'S been at the centre of controversy for the time it takes to fix water leaks, but one leak brought to the attention of Irish Water has been fixed promptly – outside its headquarters.
There was heavy machinery outside the utility company’s office at Colvill House, off Dublin’s Talbot Street, yesterday.
The road was blocked for a number of hours after a leak was discovered in the water pipes that service the building.
In recent months, the Herald has revealed numerous incidents of homeowners frustrated at the length of time that it has taken for Irish Water to fix leaks on, or near, their properties.
But the utility wasted no time in getting to work when it discovered that a pipe had been burst near the building.
A leak was reported to Irish Water on Sunday night and work started to fix it the very next day.
“The leak was fixed today without interruption to the water supply in the area,” a statement from the company said last night.
In October this year, Howth Road resident Paul Kealy told the Herald that he calculated that up to 250,000 litres of water were lost in a leak and that even after 12 weeks Irish Water had not fixed it.
Similarly, in November, Brian McKenna and his wife Suzanne revealed how their water meter clocked the use of more than 404,000 litres in five months.
They said that they struggled to get Irish Water to fix the problem. Ms McKenna estimated that they made more than 40 calls to Irish Water, and described the experience as “frustrating”.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that a massive 81pc of the public support holding a referendum to ensure Irish Water isn’t privatised.
The figures were revealed in a survey by Coyne Research.
A total of 1,000 people aged 16 and over were asked for their opinion on the semi-state utility.
While the vast majority wanted a referendum to keep it in public ownership, the biggest support for such a move was among middle -aged voters, between 35 and 54.
So far, the Government has refused to consider such a move, while also insisting Irish Water would not be privatised.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly has said that no party or independent member of the Dail supports selling it off.
According to the poll, 74pc of people said they would vote to keep Irish Water in public ownership, with just 4pc supporting the company’s privatisation.
When it came to willingness to pay water charges at all, 39pc said they were not willing to pay a single cent for their water.
Almost a quarter, 24pc, said they would pay up to €51 for each adult a year, while 20pc said they would pay between €51 and €100 per adult per year for drinking water and waste water. The remaining 17pc said that they would be willing to pay over €100 per adult in charges.
Of this group, 9pc said they would be willing to pay up to €150 a year, a further 4pc said they would pay up to €200, and 4pc saying they would pay in excess of €200 per adult per year.
The average amount people were willing to pay was €83.
Nearly one-in-four of those surveyed claimed to have attended a public protest over the issue of water charges in the past year.