Irish Water is expected to reveal tomorrow that less than half of households paid water charges by the due date at the end of the first billing cycle.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil today that company would reveal the amount collected in charges and the level for arrears to date.

The total collected is understood to be in the region of €30m, compared with about €67m that was due.

Opposition TDs have been very actively seeking this information ever since Irish Water started sending the first bills to households at the start of April.

The data is expected to reveal that about 675,000 households, which is less than half of those liable to the charges, have so far paid up.

The company sent out bills to more than 1.7 million households during its first billing cycle.

However, it openly admitted that hundreds of thousands of those bills were likely to be wrong because they were working with incomplete information about households.

It also sent bills to at least 150,000 households who were not liable to pay the charges in the first place. 

More than 500,000 phone calls were received by Irish Water's call centre on foot of those bills and no reminders were issued during the billing period.

The company is expected to reveal tomorrow that about €31m was paid by households in response to those first bills.

That represents 46% of the total money due to be collected.

While Irish Water will consider this to be a solid start and in keeping with international experience related to the introduction of such new charges, the anti-water charges movement is already claiming the fact that just 43% of households have paid the charges as a victory for their side.

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald said it signals to the Government in no uncertain terms that the majority of the people do not support water charges.

Anti Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy said it represents a massive victory for people power and that a clear majority of 57% of people have sent a message that they will not pay these charges.

While there is no longer any risk that those who do not pay the water charges will have their water supply cut off, there are penalties for those who refuse to pay.

A penalty of €30 for a one-person household and €60 for households with two or more adults will be imposed by Irish Water on those who do not make any payments during a 12-month billing period.

In addition, Irish Water can also apply for an attachment order on the wages and welfare payments of those who continue to refuse to pay.