Water services in the county have been transferred to the new Irish Water Company.
Water metres will be installed by June and billing will start on 1 Januarty but will be back-dated to 1 October of this year.
Charges will apply from 1 October next and the first bills will be sent out on 1 January 2015. These bills will will include October, November, December of this year.
Water charges will be set by the Commission for Energy later this year.
It will be guided by a government decision on how much free water will be allocated per household and how much income Irish Water will need to operate the network.
The average water use per person is 148 litres a day.
If there are four people living in a house and the free water allocation is 20 letres each, that means average daily consumption should be 128 litres or 512 litres for the houshold.
But in many cases people will not know if they have leaks and if they do, they will have to identify the problem themselves to avail of the fix free scheme.
And the Government has also stated that the onus will be on the homeowners to identify the problem themselves which in most cases will be a problem in itself.
And if another problem occurs after 12 months it will be up to the homeowner to fund the repairs themselves.
About one-in-10 homes will need repairs to leaking pipes when the water charges are introduced from 1 October.
In the annual budget report for Louth County Council, County Manager Philomena Poole said Louth local authorities will continue to operate the water service for a number of years “to ensure safe and efficient supply of water services to the public”.
A transition plan has been put in place and will remain so for 12 years.
Louth Local Authorities will set up a new customer relations management system next year.
County Manager Philomena Poole announced this in her annual budget report.
The manager is also setting up a new council meeting administration system so that councillors can make submissions on-line and have easier access to information.
This digital strategy will be useful as departments in the county’s different councils start to merge before next year’s local government transformation.
The average amount of water lost through leakage in the Dundalk Town Council area is 37 per cent per annum.
Two years ago there was a problem with lead piping in the urban area.
This was rectified by the urban council and some town councillors have expresses concerns that the change over to Irish Water will mean that repairs and maintenance will not be maintined at the same level.
However, it has been pointed out by council officials that the service contract that will be in place for 12 years will ensure that supply and maintenance levels are maintained. Cllr Jim Ryan asked what will happen after the 12 years up. Answer: nobody knows.