HOUSEHOLDERS in Maynooth will be the first in the country to get new water meters installed at their homes.
On 26 July, Irish Water, said the first meter installations in the country would start in Kildare - Maynooth, Leixlip and Celbridge leading the way.
Spokesperson, Noel Shannon, said they expected to start Monday, 12 August in Maynooth, with work starting at Moyglare Hall and Parklands.
These will be installed outside domestic residences on the public water mains in Maynooth but also Leixlip and Celbridge throughout the month of August.
Work will continue in north Kildare for a number of months. It will be early next year before other parts of Kildare are tackled.
He said the installation of over one million meters over the next three years would involved 1,600 jobs and recruitment starts immediately.
It will be next year before rural areas will be tackled.
Houses built before 2000, will take longer to deal with because boundary boxes have to be installed at them.
There are no upfront costs for meters and water charges are due to be introduced in Q4 2014 with first bills issuing from January 2015. The company said advance notification will be issued to householders before meters are installed.
Irish Water Managing Director, John Tierney, thanked County Manager, Michael Malone, and his staff for their help in preparing the installments which will be done between 8am and 6pm Monday to Saturday, each meter taking around two hours.
Concern has been raised over the company taking the work over from local authorities but an agreement has been reached with trade unions on the matter.
Irish Water said meters will be placed in a meter box, which will be fitted underground outside the homeowner’s property. Installers will have official Irish Water identification and will wear branded uniforms.
The meters are costing over €500 each and questions have been raised about their costs.
Irish Water described this as “commercially sensitive” but it did say no Irish company was able to produce them in the manner and time required
Customers with queries in relation to Irish Water or the metering programme can contact 1890 278 278 or visit www.water.ie
- Henry Bauress