Frequently Asked Questions
There is no application fee. However, should any investigative or detailed design works be required in order to process an application for a business connection, the customer may be liable to pay associated costs through a Project Works Services Agreement (PWSA). Irish Water will advise you of any such costs in advance, and fees become due when an offer is issued.
Currently, connections to the Irish Water network are charged at the same rates as applied by Local Authorities prior to the establishment of Irish Water. From 1 April 2019, a new Connection Charging Policy will be in place which includes a single set of standard connection charges and standardises the scope of work involved in each connection. The decision follows a public consultation process and engagement with a broad range of stakeholders. To view these charges, please visit our Connections Charges page.
Only Irish Water or agents acting on our behalf can carry out works on strategic or public infrastructure.
Local infrastructure in housing and mixed use developments may be constructed by either the customer, or by Irish Water or our agents. The connection agreement will set out who is to construct the local infrastructure.
Yes, Section 55 of the Water Services Act 2007 makes it a criminal offence for any person to, amongst other things, cause or permit the connection of a premises to the water supply of Irish Water either directly or indirectly or otherwise take a supply of water from the Irish Water network without the agreement of Irish Water. It is also a criminal offence pursuant to Section 53 of the Water Services Act 2007 for a person to, amongst other things, cause or permit a connection to be made to the water supply provided by Irish Water, otherwise than with the agreement of Irish Water or to dishonestly use or cause to be diverted for dishonest use or to permit the dishonest use of water supplied by Irish Water.
Irish Water has developed a process to deal with illegal connections and are obliged to take action where such connections are made.
The guidance provided in this section is for an application for a connection. Other requirements, such as planning permissions or Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence are distinct processes which must be completed separately. For more details on the Trade Effluent Discharge to Sewer Licence, please visit our Trade Effluent section.
It is estimated that 180,000 homes in Ireland together with public buildings, schools, medical centres and other buildings over 40 years old, may have lead plumbing. Water passes through lead pipes and fittings, lead can dissolve into it. The majority of lead found in drinking water comes from the lead plumbing inside the property boundary and that’s the responsibility of the owner. If your home was built before 1980, then you should check your plumbing for lead. If there is lead then you should replace the plumbing, and the Government has a grant scheme that you may qualify for. There is a process for replacing the public side of the lead service connection following that, please follow that process using our Lead Pipe Scheme Application Form rather than apply for a connection.
Irish Water is introducing a Connection Charging Policy that contains a national set of charges for connections to the Irish Water, water and wastewater networks. The charges will be calculated in a cost-reflective manner, based on connection type. Standard connection charges will apply to the majority of customers and Irish Water will provide a full connection service to a customer’s boundary, where all components of the connection works are performed by Irish Water. View the Connection Charging Policy and associated Explanatory Document.
The Connection Charges apply to applicants who wish to connection to the Irish Water, water and/or wastewater network directly or indirectly. The new connection charges will apply to developers of multi unit housing (or mixed use) developments, customers developing their own homes (one off housing) and customers wishing to connect a business. Connection charges always existed and were historically applied by IW and previous to that by the LAs. A connection charge is only applied once and is pre paid in advance of a connection to the IW water and/or waste water network. These connection charges will not have any impact on existing connected customers.
Up to 1 April 2019, connections were charged at the rates applied by the Local Authorities as at 31 December 2013. There were c. 57 different charging regimes with different methodologies and levels of service and, as a national utility, IW recognised that this situation was inconsistent, unfair and overly complex. The CRU also recognised the inconsistency and unfairness of the current charging model and asked Irish Water to submit a proposal for a new Connection Charging Policy which would be simple, fair, and transparent for customers across the country. Irish Water submitted its proposals for this new policy to the CRU who approved the policy following a public consultation process.
The new policy will provide a single clear, transparent and fair connection charging framework. The Irish Water Connection Charging Policy:
- Sets out Standard Connection Charges for the majority of customers – up until 1 April 2019, customers in different Local Authorities paid different charges for the same type of connection
- Applies a charge which is based on the cost of providing that connection – up until 1 April 2019, many connection charges were not cost reflective (i.e. not reflective of the impact on the upstream network) and were simply based on the development floor area of the property
- Provides a consistent, safe, and end-to-end connection service to customers nationally - at present different levels of connection works are performed depending on the Local Authority area: for example, in some cases the customer may be required to pay the cost of a Road Opening Licence (ROL) or to procure their own contractor to complete the physical connection works
Up until 1 April 2019, there were 57 different charging regimes across 31 Local Authorities, with different levels of connection service provided to the customer. From 1 April 2019, these will all be replaced by a single national connection policy with standard charges applying to the majority of connecting customers. As IW is harmonising the charges nationally and standardising the service being offered, there will be some charge increases and some charge decreases across the country. However, the new policy will ensure that all new customers will be treated equally, cost and service wise, when connecting to the IW network.
The effective date for the new Policy is the 1 of April 2019. However, the following transition arrangements will be in place from 1st Jan 2019 :
- Applications made before 1 January 2019 will be issued with a connection offer in line with the current charging arrangements (regardless of when the offer is issued).
- Where the application is received and the offer is issued from 1 January 2019 – 31 March 2019, the connection charge will be calculated on the basis of the current charging arrangements with a condition included in the offer identifying the connection charge that would apply under the new policy. The customer will have the option of selecting the new charge by contacting the Irish Water call centre. The connection offer will then be re-issued on the basis of the new charge post 1 April 2019.
- Where the application is received from 1 January 2019 – 31 March 2019 and the offer is issued post the policy effective date (1 April 2019), the connection charge will be the lower of the current charging arrangements or the new charge. A clause will be included identifying the alternative charge and the customer will have the option to of selecting the alternative charge by contacting the IW call centre.
- Finally, from 1 April 2019, all applications received will automatically be given an offer under the new policy and will receive a full IW end to end service.
- Where customers have already received a Connection Offer from Irish Water before the new policy comes into effect, this offer will remain valid until its expiry date.
- Where a Customer has submitted a Connection Application but has not yet received a Connection Offer, the transitional arrangements outlined will apply.
- Where a customer has not yet accepted a Connection Offer from Irish Water, he/she can choose to submit a new application under the new policy after it comes into effect.
The new policy provides a single clear, transparent and fair connection charging framework. The Irish Water Connection Charging Policy:
- Sets out Standard Connection Charges for the majority of customers. Up until 1 April 2019, customers in different Local Authorities paid different charges for the same type of connection. These charges were not cost reflective and did not take into account the impact on the upstream network.
- Provides a consistent, safe, and end-to-end connection service to customers nationally. At present different levels of connection works are performed depending on the Local Authority area, for example, in some cases the customer may be required to pay the cost of a Road Opening Licence (ROL) or to procure their own contractor to complete the physical connection
From the 1 April 2019 the Connection Charging Policy will take effect with the cost per single domestic unit for a standard connection being €2,272 for Water and €3,929 Wastewater (Connection Infrastructure up to 10 metres).
Standard Connection Charges - Water (Connection Infrastructure up to 10 metres)
|Service Pipe Size (mm)||Connection Charge (€)|
|Single Domestic (1 Unit)||25||2,272|
|Domestic Development ( 2- 5 Units)*||Dependent on number of Units||2,272|
|Domestic Development (6 - 100 Units)*||Dependent on number of Units||1,848|
|Domestic Development (>100 Units)*||Dependent on number of Units||1,708|
|Non Domestic Small 1||25||2,272|
|Non Domestic Small 2||32||8,781|
|Non Domestic Medium 1||50||19,371|
|Non Domestic Medium 2||80||29,645|
|Non Domestic Medium 3||100||46,179|
|Non Domestic Medium 4||150||83,900|
|Non Domestic Medium 5||200||149,692|
|Non Domestic Large 1||250||Quotable|
|Non Domestic Large 2||300||Quotable|
|Non Domestic Large 3||350||Quotable|
These charges are based on standard parameters. Requirements in excess of the standard parameters may incur additional charges. Please see the Connection Charging Policy document for further details.
* Domestic Development and apartments with multiple units will incur the charge per each individual unit per application.
Standard Connection Charges - Wastewater (Connection Infrastructure up to 10 metres)
|Category||Service Pipe Size (mm)||Connection Charge (€)|
|Single Domestic (1 Unit)||100||3,929|
|Domestic Development ( 2- 5 Units)*||Dependent on number of Units||3,929|
|Domestic Development (6 - 100 Units)*||Dependent on number of Units||3,499|
|Domestic Development (>100 Units)*||Dependent on number of Units||3,381|
|Non Domestic Small||100||3,929|
|Non Domestic Medium 1||150||23,344|
|Non Domestic Medium 2||225||226,571|
|Non Domestic Large 1||300||Quotable|
|Non Domestic Large 2||375||Quotable|
|Non Domestic Large 3||450||Quotable|
These charges are based on Connection Infrastructure of up to 10 metres in length. Infrastructure in excess of this will incur additional quotable charges. The charges assume a gravity pipe connection, for non gravity pipe connections additional charges may apply. Please see the Connection Charging Policy document for further details.
* Domestic Development and apartments with multiple units will incur the charge per each individual unit per application.
Standard charges – In excess of 10 metres, less than 15 metres
|Service Connection Infrastructure||Per Metre Charge (€)|
|Water (25mm pipe diameter)||358|
|Wastewater (100mm pipe diameter)||442|
Standard charges – In excess of 15 metres
Any service connection Infrastructure that exceeds 15 metres in total length will be liable for the following:
- The Standard Connection Charge (that includes the provision of Service Connection Infrastructure of 10m in length)
- The Standard Charge for each additional metre of Service Connection Infrastructure (that exceeds 10m in length, up to a maximum of 15 metres)
- Quotable Charges for each metre of Service Connection Infrastructure that exceeds 15 metres in length
Self-lay surety (only applicable to domestic housing developments)
The self-lay connection agreement sets out the basis of the customer’s contractual agreement with Irish Water for the provision of services. The agreement provides for the vesting in Irish Water of water and wastewater services infrastructure installed by a customer, following quality assurance of the self-lay works and connection to the Irish Water network(s). It includes the provision of financial security to Irish Water (the Self-Lay Financial Security Arrangements) in certain circumstances.
As part of the Connection Charging Policy, a refundable financial security will be required per unit in a self-lay development. This will mitigate risk of asset defects and risk exposure where sub-standard work has been performed. This is applicable where the local infrastructure is provided by the customer and where a self-lay agreement is in place requiring the vesting of the infrastructure in Irish Water. The surety required is outlined below and will apply to all applications submitted on or after 1st April 2019. The surety will apply to each unit within an application.
|Standard Residential Connection||Apartment and Duplex|
|€1,125 per unit for water and waste water||€750 per unit for water and waste water|
|€562 per unit for one service||€375 per unit for one service|
In addition to the risk exposures outlined above for the water and wastewater services infrastructure, there is an additional risk exposure for pump stations (this includes other stand-alone infrastructure facilities) in a development. The financial security relating to this is outlined below:
- Up to 40% of the total cost of the pump station or stand alone infrastructure for the duration of the Defects Liability Period and/or
- Up to 100% of the annual estimates cost of operation and maintenance of these facilities for the duration of the Defects Liability Period
This financial security will be required in addition to the full connection payment and signed counterpart in order for a connection to progress. Upon completion of the defects liability period the surety will be released in line with the Irish Water Financial Security Policy.
The Irish Water Self Lay Financial Security Arrangements sets out the acceptable forms of financial security.
The effective date for the new Policy is 1 April 2019. From this date, Irish Water will be able to issue connection offers based on the new charges. Once the connection offer is signed by the customer, Irish Water can accept payments against the new charges and work can then be scheduled. Please note its currently estimated to take 12 weeks on average to complete connection works from the date the Road Opening License is received by Irish Water (where a Road Opening Licence is required to facilitate a connection).
This timeline is estimated on the basis that our regional contractors complete all the works and the following criteria has been met:
- No road closures are needed for the connection
- The connection is a standard connection and does not require a mains extension
- In relation to self-lay developments, a conformance cert will need to be obtained by the developer from Irish Water in advance of Irish Water providing a connection to the development.
- The developer must have undertaken a water quality test and obtained a positive result within 14 days of a connection being made, otherwise the test will have to be undertaken again. Confirmation of this needs to be in the Final Documents for the Field Engineers’ assessment.
The above timeline is indicative as some connections will be straightforward and completed quicker while more complex connections may take longer.
The types of planning applications which can be made direct to An Bord Pleanála under the Planning and Development (Strategic Housing Development) Regulations 2017 are referred to as Strategic Housing Development (SHD) and are related to the following development types:
(a) the development of 100 or more houses on land zoned for residential use or for a mixture of residential and other uses,
(b) the development of student accommodation units which, when combined, contain 200 or more bed spaces, on land the zoning of which facilitates the provision of student accommodation or a mixture of student accommodation and other uses thereon,
(c) development that includes developments of the type referred to in paragraph (a) above and of the type referred to in paragraph (b), or containing a mix of houses and student accommodation or
(d) the alteration of an existing planning permission granted under section 34 (other than under subsection (3A)) where the proposed alteration relates to development specified in paragraph (a), (b), or (c) above.
Where it is proposed by you to progress a strategic housing development irrespective of whether it is to be connected to a public water or wastewater network or not, you must engage with Irish Water to determine the impact of the development on Irish Water’s resources and assets.
Evidence of this engagement must be provided by you in the Pre-Application submission to An Bord Pleanála. If it is proposed to connect to the public water and/or wastewater network, you must first have received a Confirmation of Feasibility (COF) from Irish Water stating that the Irish Water network(s) has/have capacity to accommodate the development. The COF will indicate any restrictions in the network(s) or any upgrades required to accommodate the development.
You can request a COF by submitting a Pre-Connection Enquiry (PCE) to Irish Water. Details of the PCE process can be found here
Early engagement with Irish Water is recommended in such situations via the Pre-Connection Enquiry process. In addition, where proposed developments are located in the vicinity of water assets and have the potential to interfere with the provision of water services or to cause damage or pollution or to adversely impact a public water assets (e.g. water distribution systems, treatment works, reservoirs, surface water abstraction, zones of influence of borehole abstractions, etc.), Planning Authorities, including An Bord Pleanala in the case of Strategic Housing Developments, are required to give notice of your application to Irish Water.
Further advice on this issue is contained in the Water Services Guidelines for Planning Authorities which are published by the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government and are available on the Department’s website.
The Notice from An Bord Pleanala may result in Irish Water making a submission to the Planning Authority or to An Bord Pleanala outlining details of the potential threat(s) to the water service. Irish Water will indicate if the development is acceptable or otherwise from a water services point of view.
Planning Authorities, including An Bord Pleanala in the case of SHDs, are required to be satisfied that the proposed development would not have an adverse impact on water services, on water quality, on the environment or on public health. Where such threat(s) cannot be ruled out, the Planning Authority, including An Bord Pleanala in the case of SHDs, may refuse permission for the development.
Where it is proposed to connect the water services infrastructure within a strategic housing development to a public water network or wastewater network or both, the Pre-Application submission to An Bord Pleanála must be accompanied by the following:
(a) evidence that Irish Water has confirmed that there is or will be sufficient water and/or wastewater network and treatment capacity to service the development,
(b) a statement of the applicant’s intention that the proposals for water or wastewater infrastructure, or both, is consistent with all relevant design standards, Standard Details and Codes of Practice specified by Irish Water. This is to be achieved by you by making a Design Submission to Irish Water and obtaining a Statement of Design Acceptance before making a Strategic Housing Development Application to An Bord Pleanála; and
(c) an indication of timelines and phasing for water demand or wastewater collection requirements, or both, as appropriate.
Submit a Pre Connection Enquiry to Irish Water in advance of the Pre-Planning Stage of the Strategic Housing Development process and a Confirmation of Feasibility will be issued by Irish Water following its assessment of available capacity within its Network(s). Details of the PCE process can be found here.
You should submit the design proposal for the water and/or wastewater infrastructure associated with the strategic housing development to Irish Water in advance of making a Planning Application to An Bord Pleanála (either as part of the Pre-Connection Enquiry, during or after the Pre-Planning Application). Irish Water will vet the design and issue a Statement of Design Acceptance if the design is deemed to be in compliance with the Codes of Practice and Standard Details. This Statement of Design Acceptance can then be submitted to An Bord Pleanála as part of the Planning Application documentation along with the design proposal.
You should submit the design proposal in the form of a Design Submission to Irish Water to the e-mail address email@example.com. The content of the Design Submission should be as outlined in Section 2.3 of the Code of Practice for Water Infrastructure and/or in Section 2.3 of the Code of Practice for Wastewater Infrastructure.
You should submit a copy of the Planning Application to Irish Water via the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org concurrent with your submission to An Bord Pleanála. Irish Water will also accept hard copies of the Planning Application provided an e-mail is sent to email@example.com indicating that a submission has been made.
Apply to ABP (16 weeks)
These Standard Details have been developed to set out Irish Water’s requirements for developers in the provision of water supply and wastewater collection infrastructure that is to be installed in developments, particularly housing developments, and that will be connected to Irish Water’s networks and subsequently vested by Irish Water. They complement the Irish Water Codes of Practice.
The Standard Details provide the basis for developers’ detailed design proposals for water and wastewater infrastructure, leading to the provision of infrastructure that is suitable for connection to Irish Water’s networks and for easy operation and maintenance. For infrastructure which will be vested by Irish Water, deviation from the requirements of the Standard Details is not allowed without the prior written approval of Irish Water. Any proposed deviation from the Standard Details must be submitted and discussed with Irish Water’s Connections and Developer Services and a Design Risk Assessment must accompany the proposal. Deviations can not proceed without written approval.
The Standard Details and Codes of Practice were published in April 2016 and December 2016 respectively. On that basis, your designs, at this stage, should be in accordance with the Standard Details and Codes of Practice. The Codes of Practice complement the Standard Details and do not impose any additional technical requirements. The Standard Details and Codes of Practice are based on best practice within the water industry and adherence to them is required by Irish Water. An Exemption Period was applied to the Standard Details from their mandating in June 2016 and this exemption process expired in October 2016. It is only proposed to continue with this Exemption process for the Standard Details and the Codes of Practice in exceptional and justifiable situations.
The Standard Details are based on best practice within the water industry. They take account of the experience of Local Authorities in the provision of these services to new developments. They have been successfully used by Irish Water’s own internal functions for a variety of projects and they are in line with water utility industry norms
If you have a query in respect of a Standard Detail, please send your query to firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the technical team will respond to you directly. This e-mail address is also used to accept queries on the Codes of Practice.
Yes, additional clarification has been provided. The Standard Details issued in August 2016 have been revised in relation to tree/shrub planting restrictions. There are new revised requirements outlined in STD-WW-06 and STD-WW-06A for wastewater infrastructure and for water supply infrastructure in STD-W-12 and STD-W-12A. Designers should follow the Decision Flow Diagrams in these Standard Details when considering the potential impact of damage to pipework and the impact of root growth ingress where water services infrastructure is located adjacent to trees and shrubs.
These Codes of Practice have been developed to set out Irish Water’s requirements for developers in the provision of water supply and wastewater collection infrastructure that is to be installed in developments, particularly housing developments, and that will be connected to Irish Water’s networks and subsequently vested by Irish Water. They complement the Irish Water Standard Details.
The Codes of Practice provide the basis for developers’ detailed design proposals for water and wastewater infrastructure, leading to the provision of infrastructure that is suitable for connection to Irish Water’s networks and for easy operation and maintenance. For infrastructure which will be vested by Irish Water, deviation from the requirements of the Codes of Practice is not allowed without the prior written approval of Irish Water. Any proposed deviation from the Codes of Practice must be submitted and discussed with Irish Water’s Connections and Developer Services and a Design Risk Assessment must accompany the proposal. Deviations can not proceed without written approval.
The Standard Details and Codes of Practice were published in April 2016 and December 2016 respectively. On that basis, your designs, at this stage, should be in accordance with the Standard Details and Codes of Practice. The Codes of Practice complement the Standard Details and do not impose any additional technical requirements. The Standard Details and Codes of Practice are based on best practice within the water industry and adherence to them is required by Irish Water. An Exemption Period was applied to the Standard Details from their mandating in June 2016 and this exemption process expired in October 2016. It is only proposed to continue with this Exemption process in exceptional and justifiable situations for the Standard Details and the Codes of Practice.
The Codes of Practice are based on best practice within the water industry. They take account of the experience of Local Authorities and water utility companies in the provision of these services in new developments. They have been successfully used by Irish Water’s own internal functions for a variety of projects and they are in line with water utility industry norms.
The Code of Practice for Water Infrastructure outlines the requirement for water main material in Section 3.9 thereof. Two materials are acceptable,
- Ductile Iron (DI) pipes to IS EN 545.
- Polyethylene (PE) to IS EN 12201.
Note: CPE/PVC to BS PAS 27 and MoPVC to UK WIS 4-31-08 and ISO 16422 may be allowed in exceptional circumstances, subject to Irish Water’s written approval, for a two-year “phase-out” period from November 2017. Their use will not be allowed thereafter. These “exceptional circumstances” would include housing developments with 100 housing units or less.
The Code of Practice for Wastewater Infrastructure outlines the requirement for gravity sewer pipe material in Section 3.13 thereof. Three materials are acceptable,
- Concrete spigot and socket pipes to IS EN 1916, BS 5911 and IS 6.
- Thermoplastic Structure Wall Pipes to IS EN 13476, with SN8 stiffness class and a jetting resistance of 2,600 psi.
- Unplasticised PVC Pipes to IS EN 1401, with SN8 stiffness and a jetting resistance of 2,600 psi.
Note: Fittings of SN4 stiffness class will be acceptable to Irish Water for the Thermoplastic Structure Wall Pipes and Unplasticised PVC Pipes outlined above. These fittings are to comply with IS EN 13476 and IS EN 1401.
If you have a comment or query in respect of the Codes of Practice, please send these to email@example.com and a member of the technical team will respond to you directly. This e-mail address is used to accept queries on the Standard Details and it will now also be used to accept queries, comments, etc. on the Codes of Practice.