Irish Water – Yes or No?

October 5, 2014 0

Many citizens, especially those not on Facebook might have missed important information regarding the newly introduced water charges. Maybe the following summary can help you to make an informed decision whether you will say: “I have no other option but to pay the water charges” or “no. I don’t have to and will not pay the water charges.” 

right2water

On Saturday, 11th October at 2:00 pm in Dublin, there is a big and peaceful demonstration taking place from all over Ireland, starting in Dublin from the Garden of Remembrance via D’Olier Street and Westmoreland Street to the GPO.We need you to be there and make your voice heard. Balbriggan against Water Charges will meet at 11.45-12:00 on St. Georges Square, and march from there to the train station, get the 12.35 train to Dublin (O’Connell Street) and walk up to the Garden of Remembrance.

It will be a day, when Ireland is going to make history and you’ve been part of it. You really don’t want to miss this.

It’s not only for you, you are also doing this for your children and grandchildren.

1.“I don’t mind paying for water services!”

You are already paying for water services via your tax. What happens now is a form of double taxation. You are paying tax and on top of that you supposed to pay water charges.

The Water Services Act says that the Government have EXTENDED some of the functions of the Water Services Authorities (Councils) to the Water Metering Authority (Irish Water). It does not use the word “REPLACED”. So, unless you agree to enter into a contract with Irish Water, the Water Services Authority will still continue to supply you with YOUR water. Irish Water are a “metering” (billing) company.

It is not like the Property Tax that was administered by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. Irish Water have no authority to take money from your wages, social welfare or bank, unless you sign a contract with them. If you don’t want to become a customer of Irish Water, you DO NOT have to fill in the form and give them your details such as PPS number or bank account. By law, they need your consent. This is why they want you to sign a contract.

You are under no legal obligation to enter into a Contract with ANY private company against your will. There is nothing in either the 2007 or 2013 act to COMPEL a private citizen to sign up to Irish Water. This would run contrary to the Constitution, Irish Consumer Law, and European Law, and would therefore be completely unenforceable or in other words illegal.

2. “But they will cut off my water if I don’t pay or they will turn it down to a trickle!”

The Water Services Act PROHIBITS both the Water Services Authority & the Water Metering Authority from turning off/down your water in respect to a dwelling. A Dwelling is a place where people live as opposed to premises such as an office where people work.

3. “I have to give Irish Water my PPS number to be eligible for allowances”

In spite of Irish Water being a listed organisation by the Department of Social Protection, it DOES NOT mean that they automatically have the right to access your PPS number and other details. The so-called allowanceswill hardly cover your needs, and once, Irish Water is privatised, it can do away with allowances and can quickly go the way as it happened with bin charges. So, don’t be lured into this allowance scam. All they are trying to do is to get your details, in order for you to become their customer.

4. “Irish Water will take me to Court and recover any money owed from my wages, bank, income, or social welfare”

If they cannot establish that a valid contract exists, the case will never go as far as Court! They would have no legal standing! If you don’t wish to become their customer, don’t fill in the form. They cannot force you. Irish Water is a private billing company. Eircom, Vodafone, Sky TV, etc. cannot force you either to become their customer. Irish Water is no different.

5. “I don’t mind having a water meter installed”

In March 2012, Dr Andrew Goldsworthy’s research warned that Water ‘Smart’ Meters, via their strong RF microwave emissions, can severely reduce water quality, leading to increased toxici- ty of poisons present in the body (poisons like FLUORIDE).

This is particularly concerning for many areas in Ireland where there are still lead pipes in use – electromagnetically-conditioned water flow can strip lead from pipes, leading to an increase in toxin-intake into both the body and the food-chain. Apart from that ‘Smart’ Meters can identify individual electrical devices inside the home and record when they are operated causing invasion of privacy.

In other words, those with access to the ‘Smart’ Meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-of-day metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants. Smart meters can be hacked, have been hacked and will continue to be hacked. By deploying millions of ‘Smart’ Meters with the same software, firmware and hardware, they become a highly-concentrated, strategic target for any malicious hackers and will endanger the community if an attacker, for example, can switch the power on and off from remote en masse. This makes ‘Smart’ Meters dangerous and a liability to the bill-payers who would have to ultimately pay for any damage through higher bills. For this reason alone (and many more), it is advisable to refuse having a meter installed.

Make sure that the water meter installers know that have no intention of becoming an Irish Water customer. If you can’t tell them personally, have a notice near or on the stopcock. It should say that you do not wish to become an Irish Water customer as you have not given your consent. If you can’t stop them or they already have installed the meter, send Irish Water a letter (preferably by registered post) telling them that you are NOT a customer of theirs, and that the meter, or any readings taken from it “will not be construed as a contract either explicit or implied”.

You may also advise Irish Water that the meter will be considered abandoned property (no matter whether it’s on public or private land – it is connected to your house) and that they have 21 days to remove the device or you will remove it “without prejudice or liability” (this last bit means they cannot charge you for the cost of the meter if you remove it or destroy it).

6. “My landlord can force me to sign up”

A landlord (or Letting Agency) has NO business, or legal authority, to ask you for your PPS details and they certainly CANNOT sign you into a private contract with a third party without your consent. They cannot enter any term or condition in the lease agreement that would deprive you of your legal rights, as a citizen or as a consumer. While the PRTB are asking landlords/letting agencies to gather PPS numbers to register tenants, it turns out that this little practice is entirely ILLEGAL!

7. “Irish Water will pay to fix problems on my property (once off)”

People are already complaining that they have to pay to get their driveways dug up to fix large leaks, because the issue is on “their property” and therefore not the responsibility of Irish Water!

8. “I decided not to become a customer of Irish Water, what do I do now?”

When the Irish Water envelope arrives, you have various options. You can completely ignore this letter and do whatever you do with junk mail. Or you can be one of the thousands upon thousands of people who….

  1. Put a label across the address window and wrote: return to sender (no stamp needed).
  2. On the envelope itself they wrote: no contract, no consent
  3. Put the letter back into the letter box

Note:In case you already filled in the form and sent it back to Irish Water, remember that as with any contract, you have a 14 day cooling off period. You have the right to change your mind!

9. “What else can I do?”

And finally, there is (in spite of all the censorship of main stream media and RTE) huge opposition against the water charges all over Ireland. Next Saturday, 11th October at 2 pm in Dublin, there is a big and peaceful demonstration taking place from all over Ireland, starting in Dublin from the Garden of Remembrance via D’Olier Street and Westmoreland Street to the GPO. We need you to be there and make your voice heard. Balbriggan against Water Charges will meet at 11.45-12:00 on the Square, and march from there to the train station, get the 12.35 train to Dublin (O’Connell Street) and walk up to the Garden of Remembrance. It will be a day, when Ireland is going to make history and you’ve been part of it. You really don’t want to miss this. It’s not only for you, you are also doing this for your children and grandchildren.

“Balbriggan and surrounding areas Against Water Charges” has all the information you need. Have a look on their Facebook page.

balbriggan_against_water_charges_protest_05oct14