Connections FAQs

Check below if you have a question about getting connected to Irish Water’s water and/or wastewater networks.

General Connections

No, we do not charge for assessing Pre-Connection Enquiry Forms.

No, we will only issue Confirmation of Feasibility for providing a connection to the Irish Water network.

No. Confirmation of Feasibility is simply a statement that at the time of issue, a connection to Irish Water infrastructure is feasible. It is unconnected with your planning application, and any questions or concerns regarding your planning application should be directed to the Planning Authority.

No. Confirmation of Feasibility cannot be regarded as a commitment to provide a connection. A connection application and completion of the acceptance requirements is always required in order to guarantee a connection.

No. Any customer seeking a connection must obtain agreement from Irish Water for their water and/or wastewater service connection. Planning permission does not guarantee you a connection.

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.

In April 2019, Irish Water implemented a Connection Charging Policy which included a single set of standard connection charges and standardised the scope of work involved in each connection. To view these charges, please visit our Connections Charges page.

Irish Water or agents acting on our behalf 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. At present Irish Water is delivering a pilot project that is facilitating Self Lay of water services infrastructure in public roads by developers on behalf of Irish Water. Click here for more details

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.

View our guidance document on Design of Wastewater Connections for Schools.

Where significant impact on the public water and /or wastewater infrastructure is considered likely as a result of a particular new or modified connection, applicants may be required to enter into a Project Works Services Agreement with Irish Water. A Project Works Services Agreement (PWSA) will require the applicant to pay the financial costs relating to the necessary engineering assessments prior to entering into a formal Connection Agreement.

Connection Charges

Irish Water has introduced a Connection Charging Policy that contains a national set of charges for connections to the Irish Water, water and wastewater networks. The charges are calculated in a cost-reflective manner, based on connection type. Standard connection charges apply to the majority of customers and Irish Water provides a full connection service to a customer’s boundary.

The Connection Charges apply to applicants who wish to connection to the Irish Water, water and/or wastewater network directly or indirectly. The 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 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. In the past, different levels of connection works were performed depending on the Local Authority area, for example, in some cases the customer was required to pay the cost of a Road Opening Licence (ROL) or to procure their own contractor to complete the physical connection.
  • The Connection Charging Policy was implemented on 1 April 2019, 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).

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. 

Strategic Housing Developments

The Strategic Housing Development process is covered by the Planning and Development (Strategic Housing Development) Regulations 2017 under the provisions of the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016.

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.

What do I need from Irish Water to progress a Strategic Housing Development?

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.

Where the proposed development has the potential to impact on a public water supply source, irrespective of whether or not a connection to a water/wastewater network is required, your application to An Bord Pleanala must be accompanied by evidence of engagement with Irish Water and its outcome.

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).

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 cdsdesignqa@water.ie. 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 spatialplanning@water.ie 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 spatialplanning@water.ie indicating that a submission has been made.

StepsActions
Step 1
Pre-connection enquiry
  • Developer submits Pre Connection Enquiry (PCE) to Irish Water
  • Confirmation of Feasibility (COF) issued by Irish Water requiring the submission of a design proposal during Step 3.
  • Initial meetings with Planning Authority and Irish Water
Step 2
Pre-planning (9 weeks)
  • Developer submits a Pre-Planning Application to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) 
  • Tri-Partide Meeting (ABP, LA and Developer)
  • An Bord Pleanála ruling on the Pre-Application
Step 3
Prepare Application
  • Developer’s prepares Planning Application Documentation
  • Developer submit Design for water and/or wastewater services services to Irish Water and obtains agreement for it 
  • Irish Water issues Statement of Design Acceptance
Step 4
Apply to ABP (16 weeks)
  • Developer submits a Planning Application to ABP and Statutory Consultees (including Irish Water)
  • An Bord Pleanála issues its Decision

Standard Details

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.

There are two sets of Standard Details, one set relates to water infrastructure and the second set relates to wastewater infrastructure. These are documents IW-CDS-5020-01 and IW-CDS-5030-01 respectively. 

The Standard Details are available in our Technical Guidance section.

The Standard Details have been prepared taking into account certain health and safety considerations. However, as the Developers’ designers will prepare the final detailed design, the responsibility for this remains with the Developer and his/her designer. The Design Risk Assessments (DRA) outline the residual health and safety responsibilities of developers and their designers/contractors in the provision of water and wastewater infrastructure.

The Design Risk Assessments (DRA) associated with Standard Details for Water Infrastructure and the Standard Details for Wastewater Infrastructure are available in our Developer Services section: document IW-CDS-5020-02 and document IW-CDS-5030-02 respectively.

Where a developer is providing water supply and wastewater collection infrastructure in new developments which will ultimately be connected to the Irish Water Network(s) and vested in Irish Water, the use of the Standard Details is mandatory.

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 standarddetails@water.ie 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. 

Codes of Practice

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.

There are two Codes of Practice, one Code of Practice relates to water infrastructure and the second Code of Practice relates to wastewater infrastructure.

The Standard Details are available in our Technical Guidance section.

The Codes of Practice have been prepared taking into account certain health and safety considerations. However, as the Developers’ designers will prepare the final detailed design, the responsibility for this remains with the Developer and his/her designer. The Design Risk Assessments (DRAs) outline the residual health and safety responsibilities of developers and their designers/contractors in the provision of water and wastewater infrastructure.

The Design Risk Assessments (DRA) associated with Standard Details for Water Infrastructure and the Standard Details for Wastewater Infrastructure are available in our Developer Services section: document IW-CDS-5020-02 and document IW-CDS-5030-02 respectively.

Where a developer is constructing water supply and wastewater collection infrastructure in new developments which will ultimately be connected to the Irish Water Network(s) and vested in Irish Water, the use of the Codes of Practice is mandatory.

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 standarddetails@water.ie 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.