ATTEMPTS by Irish Water to install meters across the northside of the city were met with resistance from residents.
Yesterday, engineers were prevented from installing meters in Moyross, Thomondgate and Kileely by residents who believe their water is not safe to drink.
The workers from the state company had agreed to fill in holes they had dug for installing water meters at Delmege Park, Moyross, after protesters blocked a digger.
Hundreds of homes across Kileely and Ballynanty have been advised not to drink their supply due to an elevated level of lead.
Irish Water had initially tried to install meters in Kileely on Friday, but after being blocked, informed community leaders, its representatives would not return.
But the company appeared to have performed a u-turn on the matter.
Local Independent councillor John Gilligan backed the actions of the residents who prevented access.
“Irish Water now preside over a situation where they are providing water which is dangerous. And they want to charge for it. At present, they are saying we will give you water as far as your footpath, or water into your back yard. Every single civilised person drinks water from a tap. Everyone deserves clean, safe water, whether we pay for it or not,” he said.
Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prendiville hailed the resident’s actions as “an exemplary sign of people power”.
“I think it is fantastic to see communities uniting, and residents getting organised. When communities organise, and people come out to resist it, we can demonstrate our opposition to these water charges.”
If residents refuse to have water meters fitted in their homes, they will be charged a flat rate charge in January.
Cllr Prendiville added: “The key thing is for people to refuse to pay the bills, and organise non-payment.”
“But it sends a strong message when Irish Water are met with protests wherever they go,” he concluded.
Residents in St Mary’s Park are likely to be advised not to drink their water for fear of elevated lead.