Irish Water has admitted that the containers for household water meters don't meet the technical standards set down by the government.
But the utility claims that the so-called 'boundary boxes' are still more than strong enough to withstand the weight of cars driving over them.
It has been confirmed that while Department of Environment rules require boundary boxes to meet what's called 'Grade B' standard, most of its boxes are only of Grade D.
But Jerry Grant of Irish Water this evening told TDs that there was no reason to worry about the quality of boxes: "We've also had an independent load testing carried out on the Grade C surface box, which has been proved to withstand loads of more than two tonnes, and as part of the tests a stone was placed on the surface box and a standard car tyre used to impose the load on the stone.
"The result of that test was that the car tyre deformed around the stone and came into contact with the surface box, the test was abandoned when we were afraid that the tyre would actually explode."