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Water infrastructure

  • 14-01-2010 12:25am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,638 Zoney


    OK, so the weather situation is the immediate cause of some problems with water supply at the moment, but it seems that our infrastructure was not too robust, and it seems to be that in some areas supply can barely meet demand even outside of drought or problems with leaks.

    Add to that all the contaminated supplies etc. and it's not a pretty picture.

    What do people know about the issue (and in specific areas) and what do people suggest?

    No doubt some will suggest privatisation, but really, I'm skeptical this would do anything other than allow a select few to milk us dry, and also the private operators would not be accountable. Not that government seems to be very accountable either, but it certainly is in theory, and certainly a lot easier to blame them for failing to run things properly than trying to explain how they are failing to regulate private industry.

    Do people think the current crisis is excusable due to the weather, or is the response nevermind the robustness of the infrastructure in the first place, wholly lacking?

    I realise this topic greatly straddles politics as well as infrastructure, but presumably posters in this forum would be interested in commenting on the issue, and perhaps some people have some hard facts?


«1

Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    The contamination of water in Ireland is a big concern with over 5% of water supplies contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria. This was the EPA report in 2007. This is not taking into account the private water supply schemes:
    Between January and September 2008, the EPA received and assessed 283 notifications of failure to meet drinking water standards, audited 59 water treatment plants, issued 47 legally binding Directions to 15 local authorities requiring specific actions to be undertaken to improve the security of their supplies, and prosecuted one local authority for their failure to comply with an EPA Direction (Galway County Council).

    The EPA found that:
    In relation to the safety of drinking water (i.e. comparing the results of almost 240,000 monitoring tests against national and EU standards):
    • E. coli was detected on at least one occasion in 52 out of 952 public water supplies. This figure is down from 77 in the previous year (2006). This indicates that intermittent contamination of approximately 5% of public water supplies occurred in 2007.
    • The number of private group water schemes where E. coli was detected dropped from 246 in 2006 to 184 in 2007. However, despite this improvement, over 31% of private group water schemes were contaminated at least once during 2007.
    • Overall compliance with the chemical standards was satisfactory at 99.1% but challenges will exist to comply with the tighter lead standard in 2013.
    • Compliance with several indicator parameters, in particular compliance with aluminium and turbidity parametric values, remains poor.

    In relation to the security of water supplies (i.e. the management of the risks to the drinking water treatment plant and supply network):
    • Of the 339 public water supplies identified by the EPA and placed on a Remedial Action List (RAL) in early 2008, 83 supplies were removed from the list having completed the necessary remedial actions and 62 were added.
    • Overall at the end of March 2009 there were 320 supplies on the RAL. Boil water notices or restrictions of use (e.g. do not drink) were put in place on 53 supplies serving approximately 118,000 persons in 2008.
    • Adverse weather conditions in August 2008 alone led to the imposition of boil water notices on 20 supplies
    .

    Feacal coliform can be caused human or amimal bacteria that gets into the main water supply. The treatment plant may also cause this if it's not stringently tested for the bacteria. I think the findings in the EPA report a disgrace considering this can lead to several infections and fever.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,235 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    While the present network is under pressure, the recent problems have been (a) leaks (b) people running taps all the time to prevent pipes freezing (which I strongly suspect isn't very useful).

    Short and medium term, work needs to be done on loss prevention and on improving group water schemes which is where the bulk of problems are - 10-20% are contaminated compared to about 1-2% for council schemes.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Victor wrote: »
    While the present network is under pressure, the recent problems have been (a) leaks (b) people running taps all the time to prevent pipes freezing (which I strongly suspect isn't very useful).

    +1 and +1 again
    Short and medium term, work needs to be done on loss prevention and on improving group water schemes which is where the bulk of problems are - 10-20% are contaminated compared to about 1-2% for council schemes.

    You know the greatest single statistical and real improvement in water quality was the removal of sheep headage payments 10 years ago .

    There were 8m sheep in around 1998 and less than 5m now, see .

    The dirty feckers crapped everywhere and caused innumerable water scares in the 1980s and particularly in the 1990s.

    We only had 3.2m in 1980 and maxed out at 9m feckin sheep in 1992 although many were not real sheep like and only existed on grant applications :cool:


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/1104/water.html
    RTE News wrote:
    Report highlights missing water problem

    Wednesday, 4 November 2009 19:50

    A majority of local authorities cannot account for more than 40% of the water supply for which they are responsible.
    Five city and county councils cannot account for more than 50%.
    Minister for the Environment John Gormley has said the findings are unacceptable and urgent action is needed.

    This data is contained in what is called the Annual Indicators Report, a document compiled by the Local Authorities for the Environment Minister.
    For the first time, the report examines what is termed 'unaccounted for water' - the majority, but not all of which, is down to leaks.
    Of 34 city and county councils, 22 could not account for more than 40% of their water supply.
    The five which could not account for more than 50% were Cork City, Kilkenny County, Offaly County, Roscommon County and South Tipperary County.
    In contrast, the four Dublin local authorities performed well, while the lowest unaccounted rate of 16% came from Limerick County Council.
    Minister Gormley has described the rate of water loss as simply unacceptable and warned that local authorities must take urgent action to tackle the problem or risk losing out on funding.
    With water charges for households being considered by Government, the fact that so much water cannot be accounted for will make the issue even more controversial.

    Not really acceptable is it?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 47 ✭✭✭ silurian1980


    I just don't think it's acceptable in a large urban area like Dublin to have water allowance rationed. I live in D6 and have been without water now for 5 days which is disgraceful.

    This country has been swimming in money for the past 15 years and it seems very little was done to upgrade the 100+ year old pipes that the water flows through. Why didn't the council take measures when the going was good to replace the ailing infrastrure?

    Once again we're moaning and not taking action. To be honest I'm all for privatisation, yes we will have another bill to worry about but it will ensure that the infrastructure will be seen to more efficiently because chr!st knows we can't trust this government to do anything bl00dy useful or worthwhile

    Write to your local council about your thoughts!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,306 ✭✭✭ serfboard


    Zoney wrote: »
    I realise this topic greatly straddles politics as well as infrastructure, but presumably posters in this forum would be interested in commenting on the issue, and perhaps some people have some hard facts?

    One of the city/county managers was on the radio the other day and asked how many people, when canvassed by local councillors during the last local elections, asked what they were doing about water?

    The reality is, we just don't care about it (enough) outside of crisis times like this.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    serfboard wrote: »
    One of the city/county managers was on the radio the other day and asked how many people, when canvassed by local councillors during the last local elections, asked what they were doing about water?

    The reality is, we just don't care about it (enough) outside of crisis times like this.

    Thats the reality of it. The water charges that are proposed to come in next year should go into investing more for the regional schemes. But I doubt that will happen given the debt the country is in will go straight to the ECB to pay off part of the couple of billion we owe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    If there were water charges then the sale of goods and supply of services act would apply, and refunds would have to be given for a failure to provide the service/goods.
    This might concentrate the minds in the thruppenny bits a bit more.

    Also Met Éireann have a a report on the other prolonged cold spells over the last 60 years, rom the big snow in '47 to the one in the 60's and 81/82.
    It was colder in 82 than in Dublin in 09/10. So the pipework should have been designed to deal with the cold experienced in 82 plus some margin.
    I don't even know if the mains pipes are insulated. I don't know if the new main being installed under the r132 is insulated.


    Would the county manager even give a crap about the citizens who live in his county?
    They usually trample over the wishes of the democratically elected representatives anyway.
    and they can't be replaced for their cock ups, unlike some elected representatives.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,623 ✭✭✭ Bards


    Too many public bodies with responsibility for some aspects of water which leads to a situation where no one has responsibility


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    Bards wrote: »
    Too many public bodies with responsibility for some aspects of water which leads to a situation where no one has responsibility

    Just like with certain aspects of the November flooding. Too many bodies involved with waterways and planning, none of them actually responsible.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,248 ✭✭✭ Dinarius


    Let's see now.........

    The Brits left us urban rail (tram) networks. We destroyed them.

    They left us not just an intercity rail network, but a network that serviced every nook and cranny in the country. Then we had the bould Tod Andrews and it too was largely destroyed.

    Finally, they left us a (largely) Victorian water system. In the intervening period we've done sweet fanny adam with it, to the point where we now lose about 30% of the water that passes through it.

    Edited: Make that 41%?

    http://blog.myhome.ie/post/Household-water-charges-the-cure-to-the-water-crisis.aspx?cmpid=blog1501

    Banana republic anyone? You've really got to wonder where we would be if we had had to put all this in place ourselves. I have more than one acquaintance who would like to see us rejoin the Commonwealth! :D

    I know from friends in the trade that the removal of the electricity grid from the ESB (it's called ESB networks, but it really has very little to do with the ESB per se) is the reason our electricity network is (apparently) as good as the best. So, it appears we can get some things right. Maybe water should be removed from State/semi-state clutches too?

    The water situation is truly a scandal. But, as always, we lie down, roll over and accept it. If this was France........well, you know how they'd react. 40% of us persist in voting for the Me Fein monkeys and the rest of us stay mum.

    D.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    ITo be honest I'm all for privatisation, yes we will have another bill to worry about but it will ensure that the infrastructure will be seen to more efficiently because chr!st knows we can't trust this government to do anything bl00dy useful or worthwhile

    I suspect many thought the same of our broadband infrastructure when Eircom were privatised.

    Privatisation can only occur with rigid enforcement of standards, high penalities for failing to meet said standards and a robust way of making sure ALL existing customers are adequately serviced by at least one private operator.

    I know little about water treatment beyond the basic physics of it and a little bit of the biological side, so any facts and figures would be most weclome. :)


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Water treatment ( crudely ) is

    1. remove particles with physical filters and flocculation
    2. chlorine and flourine to remove critters
    3. lime and aluminium based compounds to whiten

    Then pump it out.

    Group schemes sometimes manage 1 and 2 both but never 3.

    Councils generally do 1 2 and 3. I think it costs €1 for every 100 litres on average.

    Ireland loses 40% of its treated water which is rather silly :(


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Water treatment ( crudely ) is

    1. remove particles with physical filters and flocculation
    2. chlorine and flourine to remove critters
    3. lime and aluminium based compounds to whiten

    Then pump it out.

    Knew this bit.
    Ireland loses 40% of its treated water which is rather silly :(

    Didn't know this, could you elaborate perhaps?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,110 KevR


    BluntGuy wrote: »
    Didn't know this, could you elaborate perhaps?

    Think Sponge Bob was referring to the article I posted above. Quite a few councils around the country can't account for 40% of their water because of leaks and the like. Some councils, including Cork City, can't account for over 50% of their water.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    It has been known for some time. There are a myriad of issues involved but the estimates are based on assumptions for domestic use and known industrial and commercial use VS total treated.

    Part of the logic behind water metering is making domestic users take responsibility for their own networks where many of these leaks occur ...sometimes for years on end.

    A quota based system where N amount of domestic water is free ( based on household size) and if exceeded then all of N and all of N+ is billed and would be fair and equitable.

    However the Greens have an ideological obsession with billing every single drop and you cannot trust the bastards an inch. We are at most 2 years away from universal metering and another bloody green tax .....by my estimation :(


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 224 ✭✭ Angry Troll


    Dinarius wrote: »
    Let's see now.........

    The Brits left us urban rail (tram) networks. We destroyed them.

    They left us not just an intercity rail network, but a network that serviced every nook and cranny in the country. Then we had the bould Tod Andrews and it too was largely destroyed.

    Finally, they left us a (largely) Victorian water system. In the intervening period we've done sweet fanny adam with it, to the point where we now lose about 30% of the water that passes through it.

    Edited: Make that 41%?

    http://blog.myhome.ie/post/Household-water-charges-the-cure-to-the-water-crisis.aspx?cmpid=blog1501

    Banana republic anyone? You've really got to wonder where we would be if we had had to put all this in place ourselves. I have more than one acquaintance who would like to see us rejoin the Commonwealth! :D

    I know from friends in the trade that the removal of the electricity grid from the ESB (it's called ESB networks, but it really has very little to do with the ESB per se) is the reason our electricity network is (apparently) as good as the best. So, it appears we can get some things right. Maybe water should be removed from State/semi-state clutches too?

    The water situation is truly a scandal. But, as always, we lie down, roll over and accept it. If this was France........well, you know how they'd react. 40% of us persist in voting for the Me Fein monkeys and the rest of us stay mum.

    D.

    yep, largely agree with that


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,248 ✭✭✭ Dinarius


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    However the Greens have an ideological obsession with billing every single drop and you cannot trust the bastards an inch. We are at most 2 years away from universal metering and another bloody green tax .....by my estimation :(

    Yes, they've turned out to be quite the ideological nazis, haven't they? Very much of the 'you're either with us or agin' us' mindset. Anytime I've heard Mary White speak she does so with a level of self-rightousness that is positively Northern Ireland, if you get my drift.

    But, I digress......

    Here's the link again that I posted above which is relevant to the last couple of posts........

    http://blog.myhome.ie/post/Household-water-charges-the-cure-to-the-water-crisis.aspx?cmpid=blog1501

    D.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 224 ✭✭ Angry Troll


    i have lived and worked in ireland for the past 7 years and to this day i just never fail to be amazed by the scale of neglect and decay around here when it comes to things like infrastructure…maybe some of the billions wasted during the last few decades with eu aid and the boom and all would have been better invested there to bring the country’s basics up to modern standards…the current mess could surely have been avoided…


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,464 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    The parents in Cavan are already on a meter with their group scheme, with a (very very generous) allowance for your couple of hundred euro a year and you pay above that for any extra water used.

    They are happy to pay it and to have reliable clean water!

    The meters came in a couple of years ago after an investment in the scheme. The rationale was that the treatment plant and the ground source that supplies the scheme can only put out so much clean water, so by charging they stop farmers and other people acting the maggot by wasting water any putting the scheme under strain.

    Anyways.
    - Long and the short is the parents pay for their water privately and its metered but they have it and its clean and reliable.
    - Dublin and Cork have it provided by the government in unlimited quantities, so much as you want, AND FOR FREE, not a penny, but there is widespread shortages and cuts caused by people pulling the p1ss leaving taps on, which will last another 8 weeks aparantly.

    Which system works better?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 78,235 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Dinarius wrote: »
    I know from friends in the trade that the removal of the electricity grid from the ESB (it's called ESB networks, but it really has very little to do with the ESB per se) is the reason our electricity network is (apparently) as good as the best. So, it appears we can get some things right. Maybe water should be removed from State/semi-state clutches too?
    ESB Networks is still state owned. In fact, all the networks should remain state owned with only medium / long term performance-related franchises / licences put in place for service.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,374 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    interesting letter in yesterdays Times - essentially asking the question is there any point in bringing water up to drinking standard when 75%+ of it ends up going into attic tanks and gets used for flushing toilets, showers etc.

    I've heard it claimed in recent days (by council types) that Dublin only has 3 days water supply available at any one time, and there have been proposals in recent years to tap the Shannon to supply water to the capital. This seems strange to me - the Poulaphouca reservour is the largest in the british isles, and the vartry reservoir is also pretty big. Dublin is not a huge city by international standards.

    So is it all down to leaking pipes? Where do larger cities get their water from? (supposedly in London the average glass of drinking water has been through 6 sets of kidneys - perhaps an urban myth though).


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    loyatemu wrote: »
    (supposedly in London the average glass of drinking water has been through 6 sets of kidneys - perhaps an urban myth though).

    Myth. Supply generally comes from upriver via the Ring Main which is a gravity supply ( or from the river Lee in the east) and sewage treatment is largely downriver beyond the eastern end of the Ring Main. As there is no way back up for treated sewage from Becktin it must be a myth.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,374 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    actually this seems to bear out what I have heard, though the source article for it is a dead link.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    I am not linking everything I say here because I could not be arsed, however I am linking most of it and the rest if easily found.
    loyatemu wrote: »
    actually this seems to bear out what I have heard, though the source article for it is a dead link.

    Your IPU theory would be fine except that London no longer pulls off the aquifer like it used to. Once they worried about sinking along with it. Dublin only pussls off river and reservoir sources in mountains and never off an aquifer.

    http://www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions/pdf/hardfacts/management_of_risk/1016-risingwatertables.pdf
    Since the 1960’s the deep groundwater under central London has been returning to its historic levels. Originally the water level had been depleted by many years of abstraction following the Industrial Revolution, with industry sinking numerous private wells to recover water or for processes and machinery
    use. Much of this industry is no longer concentrated in London with the consequential effect that water is no longer extracted in such large quantities.

    The problem now is too much of the stuff. It is OK for street and car washing etc , not for treatment and drinking.
    70 mega litres of water per day must be pumped out to prevent flooding or damage to London’s infrastructure, sewers and deep tunnels. In 2001 London
    Underground pumps some 30,000 cubic metres of water daily from its tunnels with
    approximately 4,500 litres being removed from Victoria Station alone.

    That was the same in 2007 which indicates the water table has stopped rising.

    However 30m litres a day is not massive when potable water production in greater London is 2000m litres a day. It can be used for street and window washing etc and not treated.

    The Dublin water system produces 550m Litres of treated water a day and loses half of it.

    That still means that most of 250m litres ends up in Ringsend for treatment EACH DAY and that for about 1m people at most. Or 250 litres a day each ( probably more per capita in fairness)

    I doubt if ANY other city in the world produces that much S***E per capita but hey , that is Dublin writ large in 3D :D

    Londons loses about 27% to leakage and of course has the oldest infrastructure in the world in some parts too. The average HOUSEHOLD in London uses 162 litres a day and as there are around 2.2 persons per household so that would be about 75 liters per capita INHOUSE

    Per capita usage OVERALL is shown in there at 160 Litres a day including at work and school etc. As the 160L a day is taken out of the 73% used figure and as we are talking c 10m persons here that means London produces about 2.2bn litres a day , loses 27% and the 10m people get 1.6bn

    However .

    LONDON ONLY TREATS 4X AS MUCH WATER AS DUBLIN FOR 10x THE POPULATION.

    Overall the wastage nearly is as bad whether it be the Dubs themselves 250l vs 160l or their crappy water system 27% vs 50%


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,235 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    The Dublin water system produces 550m Litres of treated water a day and loses half of it.

    That still means that most of 250m litres ends up in Ringsend for treatment EACH DAY and that for about 1m people at most. Or 250 litres a day each ( probably more per capita in fairness)

    I doubt if ANY other city in the world produces that much S***E per capita but hey , that is Dublin writ large in 3D :D

    Londons loses about 27% to leakage and of course has the oldest infrastructure in the world in some parts too. The average HOUSEHOLD in London uses 162 litres a day and as there are around 2.2 persons per household so that would be about 75 liters per capita INHOUSE

    Per capita usage OVERALL is shown in there at 160 Litres a day including at work and school etc. As the 160L a day is taken out of the 73% used figure and as we are talking c 10m persons here that means London produces about 2.2bn litres a day , loses 27% and the 10m people get 1.6bn
    There are several confounding factors there. Some users supply their own water, e.g. people who use rainwater or wells or Intel and Guinness with their own water treatment, but that water ends up (whether direct from Guinness or via Dublin's pubs ;)) having to be treated, primarily in Ringsend. Ther ethere is the issue of industrial usage distorting the population equivalent of botht he water and the sewerage.
    LONDON ONLY TREATS 4X AS MUCH WATER AS DUBLIN FOR 10x THE POPULATION.

    Overall the wastage nearly is as bad whether it be the Dubs themselves 250l vs 160l or their crappy water system 27% vs 50%
    Um, are those firgures certified by someone? Dublin city has 550,00 people, but the GDA has 2m people. You have the same problem with London.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Victor wrote: »
    There are several confounding factors there. Some users supply their own water, e.g. people who use rainwater or wells or Intel and Guinness with their own water treatment, but that water ends up (whether direct from Guinness or via Dublin's pubs ;)) having to be treated, primarily in Ringsend. Ther ethere is the issue of industrial usage distorting the population equivalent of botht he water and the sewerage.

    That was largely covered. I am not that interested in the Ringsend ingress number , more the loss number. Intel and Guinness would present their surplus in that direction as you said.
    Um, are those firgures certified by someone? Dublin city has 550,00 people, but the GDA has 2m people. You have the same problem with London.

    That is the max treated daily from the Liffey and the Wicklow mountain reservoirs. More or less what County Dublin uses which is around 1m people maybe 1.2m . You would be at the shannon by the time you found 2m people Victor :) Even were one to adjust the production and consumption per capita figures down for 1.2m people one still loses the same % of what is produced and only reduces the per capita consumption of what is left .

    This would still be significantly higher than London.

    Wicklow and Meath and Kildare ( other than Celbridge / Leixlip and Dunboyne/Clonee ) are on separate treatment systems.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,010 Tech3


    €300m allocated to upgrade water system


    Some €300m is to be spent fixing the country’s creaking water supplies, the Government said today.

    Environment Minister John Gormley said the record repair bill will see burst pipes and old mains systems replaced over the next three years.

    The minister said action had to be taken, with some regions losing about half of water supplies through leaks.

    “This is completely unacceptable and must be urgently addressed,” he said.

    Parts of Dublin and Clare are still without normal supplies after the big freeze damaged ageing water pipes.

    “We are playing a huge game of catch-up with our water infrastructure, following decades of under-investment,” Mr Gormley said.

    It is understood the €300m fund is already in the Department of Environment budget but has been reallocated from other areas to ease pressure on the water supply network.

    “The difficulties experienced by thousands of householders across the country show clearly that there are still huge issues with our water infrastructure and consumption of water that need to be addressed,” the minister said.

    “Our approach to drinking water in Ireland has been unsustainable, and we must change that approach, from the investment and management of our network to how we as households value the resource that comes out of our tap.”

    Mr Gormley said plans to introduce water bills and install water meters in 1.1 million homes will be brought to Government in a few weeks.

    It is hoped the roll-out of meters will begin next year.

    “Water metering will be an absolutely essential element in ensuring that we get a water system that works, that is fair and that is sustainable in the long term,” the minister said.

    “The metering system will allow for much better network management by local authorities, and it should also help consumers adjust their consumption patterns.

    “International experience of reductions in water consumption would indicate that there can be significant water savings arising from the installation of meters.

    “A recent report for the UK Government found average savings of 16% per household accrued from the installation of meters.”

    http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/300m-allocated-to-upgrade-water-system-443351.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ unit 1


    Victor wrote: »
    There are several confounding factors there. Some users supply their own water, e.g. people who use rainwater or wells or Intel and Guinness with their own water treatment, but that water ends up (whether direct from Guinness or via Dublin's pubs ;)) having to be treated, primarily in Ringsend. Ther ethere is the issue of industrial usage distorting the population equivalent of botht he water and the sewerage.
    Um, are those firgures certified by someone? Dublin city has 550,00 people, but the GDA has 2m people. You have the same problem with London.

    Don't forget good old infiltrarion.
    Councils lay water mains and cannot keep water in.
    They also lay sewers and cannot keep water out.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Minister for the Environment John Gormley will unveil details today of a multi-billion euro investment programme focused on upgrading Ireland's water services.
    The plan involves significantly increasing expenditure on tackling 'lost' or 'unaccounted for' water, which ranges from 16% to 58% of supply in different parts of the country.
    The Government recently managed to close an EU complaint over Ireland's failure to comply with the Drinking Water Directive, but another, the Water Framework Directive, looms large on the horizon.
    Advertisement

    The possibility of Brussels imposing daily fines, partly explains why the Government has been spending €500m a year upgrading our water supply - although campaign groups, like Sustainable Water Network, have criticised the latest plans.
    This morning, Minister Gormley will outline a multi-billion euro three-year plan; of that, €320m will be spent on upgrading our water pipe network - a significant increase on previous years.
    Last January's big freeze, and the loss of supply, focused public attention on the vulnerability of our water source; it is known in several local authority areas that more than 50% of water cannot be accounted for.
    But resolving this problem will require massive ongoing investment and that is why, the Government says, water charges are required.
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0419/environment.html


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