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Local authorities given new powers to conserve water

Local authorities have been given the power to direct building owners and occupiers to prevent water wastage under a new order signed by environment minister John Gormley. The order brings into affect section 56 of the Water Services Act of 2007, which deals with water conservation.

The Department of the Environment says that while the act is intended to deal with specific problems - such as leaks occurring due to unrepaired pipes or poor management - it may also be applied en masse to particular types of buildings or businesses. For example, schools closing for summer holidays could be directed to switch off automatic toilet flushing mechanisms.

The act also enables local authorities to demand the restriction of water use for gardening, recreational parks, sports grounds, washing vehicles and swimming pools during times of drought. It will be an offence to contravene an order made under the act, with offenders facing penalties such as on-the-spot fines.
Last modified on Friday, 09 January 2009 12:51