LIMERICK City has the second highest rate of unaccounted for water in the country, figures have shown.
As thousands of families across the city face up to having to pay for their water in 2014, national figures have shown that a massive 58 per cent of the water which leaves reservoirs serving the City Centre area did not reach the homes it is meant for during 2010.
The only council whose water wastage rate was higher than Limerick Cityâ€™s was Kerry County Council.
However, these figures were recorded before a â‚¬5.5m upgrade of the cityâ€™s water supply network was completed last year.
Chairman of the transport and infrastructure committee, Cllr Ger Fahy, blamed the cityâ€™s ageing underground pipe network - but said improvements have been made.
â€œA lot of the piping would be ancient, some more than 100 years old.
â€œObviously, these pipes have gone past their sell by date, and are close to bursting, or are backed up. This is why we have a lot of unaccounted for water,â€ the Janesboro councillor told the Limerick Leader.
However, he confirmed the City Councilâ€™s strategy for the last ten years has been to update the councilâ€™s underground water supply network.
â€œWe have had a strategy in place for the last ten years in the water services department that the officials are updating the underground pipes for delivery to locations where the housing communities are,â€ he said.
The upgrade, he said, â€œhas resulted in tremendous benefits. It has reduced the level of unaccounted for water, and very significantly has increased the quality of water going to our citizens. This is very important as well.â€
â€œThe officials have done great work behind the scenes for the last ten years. This is why we are high up on quality and quantity.â€
The statistics, obtained by the Irish Times newspaper, show that just 34 per cent of Limerick County Councilâ€™s water has been wasted.
Meanwhile, Clare County Councilâ€™s unaccounted for water rate is 35.9 per cent.
Just 20.89 per cent of South Dublin County Councilâ€™s water rate goes unaccounted for, the survey has shown.