Call for reduced charges for hard water

Bad hair days in West Waterford are being blamed on a town’s water supplies.

A very observant Cllr Declan Doocey didn’t elaborate on what may be a hairdressers’ nightmare in Lismore.

But he told a municipal district council meeting the minerals in the town’s hard water “compromised shampoo quality — the consequences of which could be seen at Mass on Sundays”.

Councillors want the Commission for Energy Regulation to reduce water charges in Lismore.

Almost half the town’s 1,200 residents have been connected to the water source for several years after a new bore hole was dug.

Householders say scaling caused by the water destroys electric appliances such as kettles, shower units and even heating systems.

Cllr Pat Nugent said the effects amounted to “destroying people’s property”.

He asked why a statutory body could not add water softeners at source, as do owners of private wells.

Some members were sceptical of endorsements by the World Health Organisation and the HSE that minerals contained in hard water are of benefit.

“It destroys the element of a kettle, destroys a shower but, lo and behold, won’t do anything to my heart,” scoffed Cllr James Tobin.

A senior engineer with Waterford County Council, Gabriel Hynes accepted there are problems but “not a priority” concern.

He urged householders to add water softener to supplies, although not to drinking water.

Mr Hynes said the CER had the power to decide if people with hard water supply should get bill rebates.

Members agreed with council chairman Damien Geoghan’s proposal to write to the CER explaining the difficulties.

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