Limescale homeowners may boycott water charges

The owners of limescale-afflicted homes in South Kilkenny say they may resist paying water charges when they are introduced between now and 2014.

The owners of limescale-afflicted homes in South Kilkenny say they may resist paying water charges when they are introduced between now and 2014.

Homeowners from Mooncoin, Slieverue, Piltown and Kilmacow have expressed their anger in recent weeks over the area’s new hard water supply. They say they are having to spend a fortune replacing household appliances damaged by the limescale content of the water.

They have asked for assistance from the local authority, but Kilkenny County Council has ruled out help – insisting that the water is of the highest quality. At a series of local meetings held in recent weeks, many homeowners have indicated they will refuse to pay water charges when the Government introduces metres in the coming months.

Chairman of the local limescale committee John Dunphy is one of those who intends to resist the charges. He says this sentiment has been expressed by many people who are affected by the hard water.

“Our stance is that if we have to pay for water, it should be water we can actually use,” he said.

“We are having to pay extra as it is because of the quality of this water, and we feel we should be compensated. The council has made it clear the are not going to do anything about it.”

Mr Dunphy has implored people to continue with petitions in the area. He is now asking that people hold on to any receipts for new kettles, showerheads, washing machines and other applicances, in the event of a legal backlash arising from a water-charge boycott.

“If we are brought to court, we will have a record week-by-week of the cost of the limescale problem in South Kilkenny,” he said.

Last week, Mr Dunphy met Kilkenny County Council engineers Eimear Coady and Billy Mernagh, to put some questions to them arising from the local meetings. The council has stood by its position: Namely that the source of the water was deeemed to have acceptable limescale levels, and that a filter system at source is not feasible.