Water meters laid in recent years in the Mullinahone, Drangan and Cloneen area are being ripped out of the ground and replaced by new meters by installers for Irish Water.
Deputy Mattie McGrath has hit out at the waste of money involved in the process and said Irish Water showed a disregard for taxpayers’ money.
Up to 600 meters have been taken out of the ground and replaced by new ones in the last few weeks with the South Tipperary TD condemning the waste involved.
Deputy McGrath said that South Tipperary County Council like other local authorities in the last few years installed water meters automatically whenever they were repairing burst pipes or carrying out pipe work rehabilitation.
“GMC, the same company that the county council used to put in the water meters over the last few years, were the company engaged by Irish Water to remove them in the last few weeks. Irish Water are putting in a new meter identical to the one that was taken out. This is absolutely crazy” said Deputy McGrath.
Deputy McGrath said that the water meters were new and of the modern type and were perfectly capable of doing the job required by Irish Water.
“The meters that were already in the ground were perfect and all they needed was an electronic chip to be clipped on the top of them by Irish Water. There was absolutely no need to rip the meters out of the ground, throw them away and put down new ones, absolutely no need at all. This is just another example of the incredible waste of taxpayers money involved in the Irish Water debacle,” said Deputy McGrath.
He said that because of the difficulties with the water supply in the Mullinahone, Drangan and Cloneen area, the county council had spent up to €4m in rehabilitation work over the years with the relaying of new mains and other works.
In Mullinahone while this work was being done, special steel covers were put over the meters to protect them on the narrow streets as cars were damaging the covers of the meters as they had to drive up on the footpaths.
“Those steel covers did a fantastic job but they were taken away in the last few weeks and the plastic covers were put on. They are going to be destroyed in no time.” insisted Deputy McGrath.
In advance of the announcement of the government’s new proposals on water charges to be announced today (Wednesday 19), Anne Condon of the Clonmel Right2Water group said they wanted water charges abolished not adjusted by a government caught “in a fix”
She said the second major demonstration planned for Clonmel on Saturday, November 29 was going ahead regardless of what was contained in the government’s new proposals.
“These protests will continue. People want the water charges abolished. This is just a way out for the government until after the general election. If they bring in a charge you can be sure it will go up and up and eventually the water service, like the refuse service, will be privatised,” she said.