A resident in Trinity Street which is one of the areas earmarked by Irish Water for water pipe replacement works. said local householders were 'petrified' to receive a survey notice through their letter boxes informing them that lead was detected in the service pipes connecting their properties to the public water mains.
Residents were told that the old backyard service connections to their homes will have to be replaced, a difficult task, given that they are terraced houses.
'They scared people with the notice. There are elderly people in the area and they were very confused about it', she said.
'One resident was at home when a contractor called and when she asked what was to happen, she was told that they plan to run pipes up the front of the houses and into the roof. We also have to sign a consent form to allow them access to our backyards'', she said.
'Everyone is very suspicious about it. Older residents are terrified and confused. No-one has any idea what's going on. We've heard that if we agree to the connection now, it will be free, but if we don't give them persmission, it could cost €2,000 later on'.
The Trinity Street resident said people want a public town hall meeting where Irish Water representatives can talk to everyone together.
'We don't want to be picked off, street by street, neighbour by neighbour. Everyone can make up their own minds when they are properly informed'.
Another Trinity Street householder said a second communique arrived through the letter boxes last week, which was more informative. 'There is confusion among residents but I understand there will be a consultation process. It's in the early stages. I don't want to be overly negative about it', she said.
A resident of Bernadette Place which is also reported to have lead in the water supply, said Irish Water are digging up the roads there again even though the residents haven't signed any consent forms.
'There's lead in the water but we haven't seen any evidence of a survey being carried out', he said.
'We are in the dark on this project and no-one knows what the plans are.'
Bernadette Place householders also received a notice telling them that backyard connection need replacement and lead has been detected in the pipes.