The CRU today published information on the compliance investigation into Irish Water’s handling of issues at the Bailieborough Public Water Supply Scheme.
This investigation of the Cavan water scheme covered the period between October and December 2019.
Bailieborough PWS serves a population of 7,785 customers in Cavan, including the areas of Bailieborough, Killinkere, Virginia, Crossbane and Mullagh.
The investigation focused on Irish Water’s compliance with requirements to provide a simple and efficient complaints process, as well as timely and accurate communications to customers served by the water scheme during this period.
Repeated recordings of high levels of manganese in water were found from early October.
On December 12th 2019 a Do Not Consume Notice was announced.
The CRU found Irish Water was non-compliant across several of its customer protection obligations, particularly regarding complaint handling and customer communications.
They failed to correctly categorise customer contacts as complaints and did not recognise and escalate the large number of complaints received to the appropriate levels.
A breakdown in internal communications contributed to a delay in the issuance of the ‘Do Not Consume’ notice in December 2019 and, with it, the provision of accurate and timely information to customers.
During the period of the notice the CRU found the application of rebates to bill-paying (non-domestic) customers was impacted, affected customers are required to be discounted or refunded for water supplied to them throughout the duration of the notice.
However, in this case, customers were only refunded when the issue was highlighted during the investigation.
The CRU is liaising with Irish Water to ensure the completion of satisfactory remedial actions to address the issues identified.
The CRU Commissioner for Water, Dr. Paul McGowan said: “This investigation has raised serious concerns and they will continue to monitor Irish Water’s compliance with its obligations to protect customers.”