A Water Quality Notice is a Boil Water Notice or Drinking Water Restriction Notice that is issued to you when your water quality is not suitable for drinking directly from the tap. 

  • A Boil Water Notice is issued in cases where it is essential for customers to boil all water for food preparation and direct consumption
  •  A Drinking Water Restriction Notice is issued when customers are advised not to use the water for drinking or food preparation

These notices are issued on advice from the HSE. 

Prior to Irish Water becoming responsible for water services in 2014, these notices were managed by the Local Authority.

Any non domestic customer who is impacted by a Water Quality Notice from the 1 October 2014 onwards is due a tariff discount on their water supplied charge for the period impacted by the Water Quality Notice. 

A non domestic customer is anyone who is liable for non domestic water charges. For further information please see the Water Charges Plan available on the CRU website. 

The Water Charges Plan, approved by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), sets out the following discount rules:

  • Tariff discounts are applicable from 1 October 2014
  • Customers who use more than 50,000m3 of water per annum and are not involved in the manufacture or production of food and drink will receive a 5% water tariff discount for the period they were impacted by a Water Quality Notice
  • All other customers will receive a 40% water tariff discount for the period they were impacted by a Water Quality Notice
  • Where a property is mixed use (commercial and domestic), the tariff discount will be adjusted for any domestic allowance received by the customer

The Water Charges Plan is available on the CRU website. The tariff discount is calculated by applying the above rules to the water supply charge for the period of the Water Quality Notice.  

If the Water Quality Notice does not cover a full billing period, the water supply charge is calculated on a pro-rata basis for the number of days the Water Quality Notice was in place. 

Worked examples of how the discount is calculated can be found on the Water Charge Discounts page.

If you use more than 50,000m³ of water per annum and think the 5% tariff discount received underestimates the amount of water used in your business for human consumption, please see FAQ 21.  

No, Irish Water will identify non domestic customers affected by a Water Quality Notice, calculate the discount due and apply this to your bill. In most cases this discount should appear on the first bill you receive from Irish Water after 1 January 2019. 

If you have concerns that your discount has been overlooked, you can contact Irish Water to request a discount via the methods outlined in FAQ 17.

Tariff discounts will start to be issued from 20 November 2018. Most affected customers will receive any discount due on their first bill after 1 January 2019. 

See FAQ 7 for details on how the discount will be received and FAQ 8 for how the discount will be shown on your bill.

The discount will be applied as a credit to your bill in one of two ways:

  1. The discount due for any days you are impacted by a Water Quality Notice from 20 November 2018 onwards will be automatically applied to your bill. For example, if a Water Quality Notice was in place from 1 May 2019 to 16 May 2019 and the customer billing period is 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019, a discount for the 16 days impacted will be applied to the bill for the period 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019. The discount will continue to be applied to all subsequent bills until the Water Quality Notice is lifted. If you are subject to two or more Water Quality Notices during a billing period after 20 November 2018 you will receive your discount as outlined in FAQ 24.
  2. If you were impacted by a Water Quality Notice between 1 October 2014 and 19 November 2018, a one-off discount will be calculated for the days impacted and applied to the bill. See FAQ 25 for how you will receive the discounts if you have been subject to two or more Water Quality Notices over this period.

The discount will be shown as a separate line on the bill.

If you are impacted by a Water Quality Notice issued after 20 November 2018, the discount will be shown with the description “Drinking Water Restriction”, on your next bill after this date and all subsequent bills until the Water Quality Notice is lifted. 

If you were impacted by a Water Quality Notice prior to 20 November 2018, the one-off tariff discount, for all the days you were impacted up to this date, will be shown on your bill with the description “Drinking Water Restriction Rebate”.

If you are subject to an open Water Quality Notice on the 20 November 2018, the discount for any days impacted after the 20 November 2018 will be shown with the description “Drinking Water Restriction”, on your next bill after this date and all subsequent bills until the Water Quality Notice is lifted. You will also receive a one-off tariff discount for any days impacted up to 19 November 2018. This will be shown as a separate line with the description “Drinking Water Restriction Rebate”.

The one-off tariff discounts, due as a result of a customer being impacted by an historic Water Quality Notice, will be applied so that they are shown on the first bill the customer receives after 1 January 2019. 

Discounts for Water Quality Notices only apply from 1 October 2014. Since 1 October 2014 the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has responsibility for: 

  1. Setting out Irish Water’s allowed revenue
  2. The appropriate mechanism for recovering CRU allowed revenues through tariff structures set out in the CRU approved Water Charges Plan 

From 1 October 2014 the Water Charges Plan includes a provision within the non domestic tariff structure for tariff discounts to be applied where a non domestic customer was affected by a Water Quality Notice. 

The period prior to 1 October 2014 was governed by the previous regulatory regime with allowed revenues recovered through Local Authority tariff structures. The previous regulatory regime and the associated tariff structures did not allow for tariff discounts to be given to non domestic customers impacted by a Water Quality Notice.

 

Water is used for many business/industrial processes where the water quality does not have to be at a drinkable (potable) standard.  Only water used for human consumption is impacted by a Water Quality Notice. The percentage of water used for human consumption is likely to vary significantly depending on the business. 

Irish Water has agreed with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) that 40% of the water supplied is a reasonable estimate of the portion of water used for human consumption by most businesses.

As a result, a 40% tariff discount is applied to the water supplied part of a water services bill for non domestic customers affected by a Water Quality Notice. 
A definition of a non domestic customer can be found in the answer to FAQ 3.

If your property is used for both non domestic and domestic purposes, you are still entitled to a tariff discount for the period you were impacted by a Water Quality Notice. 

The tariff discount due will be for the non domestic portion of your water supplied charge. You will already receive a domestic allowance to reduce your water supplied charge for domestic usage. The discount due for any day impacted by a Water Quality Notice will be calculated as 40% of the reduced water supply charge for that day.

To find worked example of how a discount is calculated for a customer with a domestic allowance, visit our Discount Calculations page. 

Customers will not receive a tariff discount on their bill where

  • There is no water usage during the billing period
  • A customer receives a domestic allowance and this domestic allowance is greater than the water usage charge for the billing period

 

Irish Water agreed with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) that tariff discounts for non domestic customers impacted by Water Quality Notices would start to be applied once all non domestic customers were transferred from the Local Authorities to Irish Water’s billing system. This occurred on a phased basis from mid 2016 to mid 2017. 

Since then, Irish Water has carried out a project to identify and gather information on the areas affected by every Water Quality Notice since 1 October 2014 and to identify and calculate the tariff discount due for every impacted non domestic customer within each of these areas. This work has now been completed and the discounts will now be applied to customer bills as outlined in FAQ 6.

If you do not receive a discount on the first bill you receive from Irish Water after 1 January 2019 and have concerns that your discount has been overlooked, you can contact us to request a discount via the methods outlined in FAQ 17.

 

Irish Water has identified non domestic customers impacted by a Water Quality Notice using historical information and this historic information was sometimes unclear on which customers were impacted. In these cases, Irish Water has had to make assumptions, based on the information available, to identify affected non domestic customers. In cases where we were not certain that a customer has been affected, we have provided a tariff discount adjustment to that customer.

Based on the information available, you were identified as a customer within an area that had been issued with a water quality notice and consequently have been issued a discount. If you cannot recall seeing this notice it is likely that you were not actually impacted by the notice and so were not drinking contaminated water.

If you wish to check out details of the notice that we have identified as impacting you, you can contact us as described in FAQ 35.

No, you will not have the discount removed from your next bill. As outlined in FAQ 15, in some cases Irish Water has had to make assumptions, based on the information available, to identify affected business customers. If we have incorrectly identified you as being impacted by a Water Quality Notice and issued you a discount, we will not remove this discount on your next bill.   

In some cases, historic information was unclear as to the areas or customers impacted by a Water Quality Notice and Irish Water has had to make assumptions based on the information available. It is possible a few customers may have been missed when identifying customers impacted by a Water Quality Notice. If you do not receive a discount on your first bill after 1 January 2019 and believe you are due one, you can:

  • Call our business customer helpline on Callsave 1850 778 778 or 01 7072827
  • Email us at business@water.ie 
  • Complete and submit a Water Quality tariff discount request form. Details of how to complete this form and the form itself can be found on our website at our Water Charge Discounts page. If you need further help filling out this form, please contact our business customer helpline using the information above.

You may not have received the tariff discount yet as your billing period is different to that of your neighbour. If you have received a bill from Irish Water after 1 January 2019 and no discount was shown, it could be one of the following:

  • No discount is due to you as outlined in FAQ 13 
  • As described in FAQ 17 we have failed to identify you as being impacted by a Water Quality Notice

If, after reviewing your bills for the period impacted by the Water Quality Notice you believe you are due a discount, you can contact us to request a discount as described in FAQ 17.

 

If you believe your discount was incorrectly calculated, you can contact Irish Water as outlined in FAQ 35, where our customer service advisors will go through the discount procedure with you and adjust any discount, where appropriate. 

If you are a large water user, you can contact your Irish Water Key Account Manager to further discuss this matter. If you do not have an Irish Water Key Account Manager, you can contact Irish Water as outlined in FAQ 35.

If you are a large water user, it is more likely that a 5% tariff discount over estimates the amount of water used in your business for human consumption. However, for some very labour intensive large water users, a 5% tariff discount under estimates the amount of water used in your business for human consumption. 

If you are a very labour intensive business and believe a 5% discount may underestimate the amount of water used by your business for human consumption, you can request a case by case assessment by Irish Water. Irish Water will calculate an appropriate tariff discount for your business, reflecting water used for human consumption, during the period the Water Quality Notice was in place, based on the assessment formula. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has agreed the following formula to be used by Irish Water when calculating a case-by-case discount for any customer:

Percentage Discount

Number of FTE employees x (Average daily water consumption per employee x 365) / (divided by) Total annual water consumption sourced from Public Water Main

Where the average daily water consumption per employee is assumed to be 22 litres. 

Assuming a Large Water User with annual water use of 50,000m³ and 300 FTE employees, the above formula suggests water used for human consumption annually at this site would be 2,409m³ (300 X 0.022m³ X 365 days) – 1m³ is equal to 1000 litres, therefore a daily allowance of 22 litres per employee is equal to 0.022m³. This equates to a discount of 4.8% (2,409m³/50,000m³). If the Large Water User site uses more than 50,000m³ of water per annum, or has fewer than 300 employees, the appropriate discount will be less than 4.8%.  

Large Water Users who require a discount greater than 5% must therefore have in excess of 300 employees and are likely to be the exception than the rule. Most Large Water Users (i.e. businesses using over 50,000m³ per annum) would typically not be so labour intensive.

If you wish to apply for a case by case assessment you can contact Irish Water as outlined in FAQ 35.

As described in FAQ 7, if you are still subject to a Water Quality Notice after 20 November 2018 we will continue to apply the tariff discount to all future bills until the Water Quality Notice has been lifted. 

Unmetered customers who receive an assessed bill are still eligible for a tariff discount if they are impacted by a Water Quality Notice. The discount is calculated as 40% of the billed value for the Water Quality Notice period. If the Water Quality Notice does not cover a full billing period, the discount is calculated on a pro-rata basis for the number of days impacted.

 

From 20 November 2018 onwards, if you are subject to two or more Water Quality Notices in a single billing period, you will receive a discount for all the days impacted. The discount will show on the bill as a single value for the total number of days impacted in the billing period. For example, if your billing period was 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019 and you were impacted by a Water Quality Notice for 14 days from 3 to 16 April 2019 and then again for 9 days from 1 to 9 May 2019, a discount for 23 days will be shown on the bill.

If you have been subject to more than one notice that closed prior to 20 November 2018, the discount due for each Water Quality Notice will be calculated separately and then added together to give a single one-off historic tariff adjustment that will be applied to your bill.  

If you received a discount for a historic Water Quality Notice that has been lifted, your water has been fit to drink since the Water Quality Notice was lifted. If you have received a tariff discount for an existing Water Quality Notice that has not yet been lifted then, the Water Quality Notice still applies and the receipt of the discount does not lift that Notice. Please continue to follow the Notice instructions until you are notified that the Water Quality Notice has been lifted.  

As described in FAQ 7 we are applying the discounts as a credit to your bill. If applied, the discount leaves a credit balance on your account as follows: 

  • On your account, if you receive an individual bill for each water connection
  • On your group account, if you receive a single bill for multiple connections

You can contact Irish Water as described in FAQ 35 to request a payment for the credit balance. 

If there are specific financial circumstances associated with your business, you can contact Irish Water and we will discuss the matter with you.

As described in FAQ 7 we are applying the discounts as credits to your bills. If applying the discount leaves a credit balance on your account you can contact Irish Water to request a payment of the credit balance as outlined in FAQ 27.

The discount will be applied as a credit to your bill as described in FAQ 7. If applying the discount leaves a credit balance on your account you can contact Irish Water to request a payment of the credit balance as outlined in FAQ 27.

If you have concerns about your discount, how it was delivered or who it was delivered to, you can contact us as described in FAQ 35.

If the business owner has passed away, the business (or estate in the case of sole traders and farmers) is still entitled to the tariff discount for the period the Water Quality Notice was in place. If the account is still active and you are still receiving bills from Irish Water, the discount will be applied automatically to the bill as described in FAQ 7. However, if the account is no longer active, you will need to apply for the discount as described in FAQ 17.

If the business is still in existence and the account is still active, the business will automatically receive the discount on their bill. If the business no longer exists and the account is inactive (through the move-out process) then you still are entitled to a tariff discount for Water Quality Notices that occurred in the period while you were in business. We may not be able to identify you directly and you may need to apply for the tariff discount to be refunded to you. This can be done as described in FAQ 17.

Yes, you are still entitled to a tariff discount. If your business is closed it is possible that we may not have your details and so you may not receive an automatic tariff discount. In order to ensure you receive the appropriate tariff discount you can contact us as described in FAQ 17.

Irish Water is only responsible for the calculation of the tariff discount associated with Water Quality Notices and applying these to customer bills.  We have no authority to use individual customer discounts for any purpose.

You can contact us by:

  • Talking to your account manager if you have one
  • Phoning our contact centre on 1850 778 778 or 01 7072827
  • Emailing us at business@water.ie 

These contact details can also be found at our Water Charge Discounts page.

You can also post any issues/complaints to:
Customer Complaints Team,
Irish Water,
PO Box 448,
South City Delivery Office, 
Cork City.

The business customer care line is 1850 778 778 or +353 1 707 2827 and open 9am-5.30pm Monday to Friday.

We have comprehensive information on our dedicated Water Charge Discounts page. 
You can also:

  • Follow and Tweet @IWCare for water supply updates and customer care queries
  • Talk to us on www.boards.ie

If you wish to make a complaint you can find our customer complaints procedure and policy at our Business Customer Complaints page. You can also contact us as described in FAQ 35.

Back to the top