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Worry about integrity of apartment's water supply

11.09.2019 17:56 #1
I have an apartment in a newly built block. The water supply to my meter comes from a tank in the building's basement that is supplied from the water main. The (screw on) lid on the top of the tank is loose and there is what appears to be an electric wire coming from some machine and making its way into the tank through the opening that the lid covers. I am concerned as there is no security around the tank and the loose lid could lead to contamination of the water supply to all apartments in the building. I have asked to developer, who is still on site, to address this issue but have had no positive action as yet. What advice can you, as the service controller, give. I can supply photo images if necessary. Thanks
11.09.2019 18:10 #2
Verified representative
Hi BillyMacE,

Irish Water is responsible for the public water network and as this is occurring internally in your building, this would fall outside of our remit to resolve.

We would recommend that you contact your building management company regarding this as they will be able to investigate and conduct any necessary repairs.

We hope that this is resolved for you soon.

Kind regards,
Niamh
11.09.2019 18:23 #3
Registered User
Originally posted by BillyMacE
I have an apartment in a newly built block. The water supply to my meter comes from a tank in the building's basement that is supplied from the water main. The (screw on) lid on the top of the tank is loose and there is what appears to be an electric wire coming from some machine and making its way into the tank through the opening that the lid covers. I am concerned as there is no security around the tank and the loose lid could lead to contamination of the water supply to all apartments in the building. I have asked to developer, who is still on site, to address this issue but have had no positive action as yet. What advice can you, as the service controller, give. I can supply photo images if necessary. Thanks

As it's a brand new development the management of the complex may not be set up yet.
If there is a management company, then get in touch with them by email, together with any photographs, other address everything to the developer by email.
The electrical cable is most likely a float switch device to prevent the water pressure boosting pumps from activating and getting damaged in the event of low water levels in the tank.
It is not too common for the tanks to be left exposed to tampering, usually they are walled in with secure access or a cage constructed around them at some point close to end of the works.
There is also a safety aspect to be aware of with curious children climbing onto the tank and the risk of a fatal accident.
11.09.2019 18:54 #4
Originally posted by BillyMacE
I have an apartment in a newly built block. The water supply to my meter comes from a tank in the building's basement that is supplied from the water main. The (screw on) lid on the top of the tank is loose and there is what appears to be an electric wire coming from some machine and making its way into the tank through the opening that the lid covers. I am concerned as there is no security around the tank and the loose lid could lead to contamination of the water supply to all apartments in the building. I have asked to developer, who is still on site, to address this issue but have had no positive action as yet. What advice can you, as the service controller, give. I can supply photo images if necessary. Thanks

Irish Water have replied as below: 
"Hi BillyMacE,

Irish Water is responsible for the public water network and as this is occurring internally in your building, this would fall outside of our remit to resolve.

We would recommend that you contact your building management company regarding this as they will be able to investigate and conduct any necessary repairs.

We hope that this is resolved for you soon.

Kind regards,
Niamh""


I would like to point out again that the tanks is on the supply to the water meter (i.e. before my apartment's supply is recorded by the meter). As I am accountable to Irish Water for the water being supplied (and which water will potentially be charged to me by Irish Water), I cannot see how Irish Water can disclaim any responsibility for the integrity of that water which is being supplied through the meter.
11.09.2019 19:01 #5
Hi BillyMacE,

Originally posted by BillyMacE

I would like to point out again that the tanks is on the supply to the water meter (i.e. before my apartment's supply is recorded by the meter). As I am accountable to Irish Water for the water being supplied (and which water will potentially be charged to me by Irish Water), I cannot see how Irish Water can disclaim any responsibility for the integrity of that water which is being supplied through the meter.

As you previously noted in your original message, you live in an apartment and the issue you are reporting is within the property boundary. Therefore it is on the private side of the property and is, unfortunately, outside our remit to repair.

As my colleague Niamh noted, we are responsible to the public water mains and infrastructure, which means public side issues are under our onus to resolve. However, in light of the information you have provided, we recommend you contact your building management company to investigate and rectify this issue in the basement of the property and to your apartment.

Kind regards,
Mairead
11.09.2019 19:16 #6
Originally posted by BillyMacE
I have an apartment in a newly built block. The water supply to my meter comes from a tank in the building's basement that is supplied from the water main. The (screw on) lid on the top of the tank is loose and there is what appears to be an electric wire coming from some machine and making its way into the tank through the opening that the lid covers. I am concerned as there is no security around the tank and the loose lid could lead to contamination of the water supply to all apartments in the building. I have asked to developer, who is still on site, to address this issue but have had no positive action as yet. What advice can you, as the service controller, give. I can supply photo images if necessary. Thanks

Irish Water have replied as below: 
"Hi BillyMacE,

Irish Water is responsible for the public water network and as this is occurring internally in your building, this would fall outside of our remit to resolve.

We would recommend that you contact your building management company regarding this as they will be able to investigate and conduct any necessary repairs.

We hope that this is resolved for you soon.

Kind regards,
Niamh""


I would like to point out again that the tanks is on the supply to the water meter (i.e. before my apartment's supply is recorded by the meter). As I am accountable to Irish Water for the water being supplied (and which water will potentially be charged to me by Irish Water), I cannot see how Irish Water can disclaim any responsibility for the integrity of that water which is being supplied through the meter.
11.09.2019 19:47 #7
Registered User
Originally posted by BillyMacE
I would like to point out again that the tanks is on the supply to the water meter (i.e. before my apartment's supply is recorded by the meter). As I am accountable to Irish Water for the water being supplied (and which water will potentially be charged to me by Irish Water), I cannot see how Irish Water can disclaim any responsibility for the integrity of that water which is being supplied through the meter.



Hi BillyMacE.

Maybe I can help explain this a bit better.
I am a plumbing contractor and I do a lot of work on apartment complex water distribution systems and have had to deal directly with Irish Water (I.W.) on many issues.
The main water supply pipe that arrives up to your private apartment complex is owned and maintained by I.W. and usually terminates at a meter that measures all water going into the complex or at a main shut off valve.
After that point the rest is the sole responsibility of the Apartment development's management company. This includes the water break tanks and all distribution systems after. The meter only shows what your usage is from this system. If there is a fault in the water supply, be it mechanical or a contamination issue, after the I.W. group meter or main valve, this is up to the management company to address, not I.W.
The meter is only an indication of your usage.
For your own reference, the water break tanks must be maintained, checked and cleaned on a regular basis. It is the management company's responsibility to ensure that the tanks are kept secure, clean and in good order. I.W. are only responsible for the water suppy up to the development.
All of this is covered under building regulations and I.W. regulations on connectivity to their supply.
11.09.2019 22:13 #8
Thanks K.Flyer for your contributions; they are much appreciated. I can see a certain logic within your replies. At present the developer has not handed over the management of the building totally to the management company they selected and therefore still control the premises. This is fortunate to some extent in that they have much outstanding details to address before they complete the development in accordance with their original plans. We the residents have asked them to provide some security around the water tanks and associated plant, but they have as yet not done so. At present the plant and tanks are in the basement car park and the plant is exposed to impact by vehicles as well as other threats.
12.09.2019 01:02 #9
Registered User
No problem, happy to help.
For many reasons they should be secured to avoid tampering and accidental damage.
Although in one or two developments I have seen them left exposed, the rest are usually behind locked doors.
Keep the pressure on the developer to ensure that the lids are secured for now. They usually have a lock or nut and bolt assembly and find out what the final plans are for securing the area.
Feel free to p.m. me if you need more information.
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