10% of Irish people get water from a private well – but grant application process needs to be streamlined

5 April 2021
By Bryan Smyth

Cork Senator Tim Lombard has said that grants for private water supplies need to be revised as to reflect the true cost of installation.

Varying levels of grants are available under the Rural Water Programme to carry out works to a private water supply – for sinking a new well, rehabilitating an older supply, or putting in treatment to improve the water quality.

Senator Lombard

“The level of grant available for the treatment element of the scheme is often not sufficient to cover the costs involved, particularly in areas where ground water is poor,” Senator Lombard stated.

“Over one in ten Irish people get their water from private water supplies, and under the scheme an applicant is entitled to apply for a maximum of €1,000 for treatment to improve water quality.

“The €1,000 grant level is usually insufficient to cover the treatment works required – typically consisting of the installation of filtration and/or UV treatment.

“I am supporting the suggestion of my colleague, Senator John Cummins, that the scheme should be restructured.

“Instead of a household being able to apply for €3,000 for works on an existing supply, or for €5,000 for a new well, or the €1,000 treatment grant, the scheme could provide access to a combined figure of €7,000 for these works.

“This would enable a householder who incurs significant treatment costs to have them covered in full by having access to the unused part of the grant for new or rehabilitated wells.

“The scheme is to be reviewed in June, and Minister Peter Burke, with responsibility for this area, has confirmed this will be taken into consideration.”

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