Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Deputy Ellis raised important points, particularly about sending out notifications and effective communication. Those points are important for Irish Water to take on board.
The Water Services Acts place specific responsibilities on the Minister and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, including responsibility for matters relevant to water policy, funding and in the making of regulations. The Water Services Acts also put in place a variety of legislative and regulatory controls to ensure governance, oversight and accountability regarding water services.
Irish Water is subject to significant regulation and oversight from the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, relating to environmental compliance and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, CRU, relating to economic regulation, including customer service. The Oireachtas also established the Water Advisory Body to report to the Oireachtas on Irish Water’s performance.
For example, regarding the major boil water notice arising from problems at the Leixlip water treatment plant in 2019, the CRU carried out an audit of the Irish Water response to check compliance with the standards laid down in the customer service handbooks. This audit is also available on the CRU website.
As I have outlined, Irish Water assures my Department that it makes every effort to deliver on its responsibilities, to keep service interruptions to the minimum extent possible, as well as to comply with its obligations under the customer service handbooks when communicating with customers.
I note the points made by Deputy Ellis. As I said, we can always improve on the communication and on the level of service provided to the public.
On the point raised about McKee Avenue, Finglas, I understand that the burst water main has now been repaired. It was probably the initial query brought forward by Deputy Ellis. I thank him for bringing this issue forward this evening.