A hotel, hairdressing salon, pub, farm and service station are among a number of businesses that will see their water disconnected in the coming weeks.
Clare County Council has warned that it is preparing to disconnect several premises from the water supply for non-payment of charges.
According to the council, all of the businesses have received between four and six payment reminders each, along with individual visits from council personnel.
Water charges across Ireland’s 34 local authority areas are levied based on the volume of water provided to non-domestic premises.
Clare County Council has confirmed that water supplies to a number of businesses are scheduled to be disconnected in the coming weeks.
A spokesman confirmed the disconnections “relate to the non-payment of water service charges dating back, in some cases, to 2007”.
The council has confirmed the outstanding charges range from €600 to €42,000.
While the council has not revealed how much in total is outstanding, one council source described the first phase of disconnections as “just the tip of the iceberg”. The source said the council could be owed “hundreds of thousands” of euro.
It is understood that it has been almost two decades since the local authority in the county last disconnected a premises from the water supply.
A council spokesman said: “The businesses that face disconnection in the coming weeks have not paid outstanding bills or agreed to a payment arrangement to clear the liability.
“Having endeavoured to get engagement from the businesses concerned, Clare County Council, as the water services authority, cannot continue to provide these services. The disconnection of water services to these businesses is being carried out in accordance with local government legislation.
“Other disconnections are anticipated in the coming months. However, Clare County Council would like to remind business owners that find themselves in arrears that they should contact the council immediately to agree a payment arrangement,” the spokesman added.
The chief executive of the Ennis Chamber of Commerce, Rita McInerney, said: “It is very unfortunate that any business would be cut off from any service. In some cases, businesses just can’t afford the charges while others might have issues with the bill and dispute what they have used because of an error in the reading or because of leakage.
“Whatever the case might be, we have always advised businesses to engage with the council in relation to payment of rates or water charges. Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council have a mechanism of dealing with payments and they do take these on a case by case basis,” Ms McInerney added.
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