The Journey of Water From Source to Tap In Ireland

journey of water

The Journey of Water From Source to Tap In Ireland

Water is the world’s most important resource; without it, life on Earth would not exist. We rely on water for agriculture, to support animal and plant life around the world, and most importantly, to drink. Let’s discuss the journey of water from source to tap in Ireland!


Sources of Water

About 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, but not all of it is available for us to use. Over 96% of the world’s water is held in our oceans, and only 2.5% of Earth’s water is fresh. Most freshwater is trapped in glaciers and ice-caps and the remainder is groundwater or surface water (e.g. lakes and rivers). As Ireland’s national regulated water utility, Uisce Éireann is responsible for delivering secure, safe, and sustainable water services for the people of Ireland daily.


Stages in the Journey of Water

(1) Collection

The journey of water starts with clouds. There are 5 different types of clouds, but only 2 types cause rain: nimbostratus and cumulonimbus. When it rains, water is collected in water bodies found in our environment, such as groundwater, rivers, and lakes. In Ireland, roughly 20% of our water comes from groundwater, and 80% comes from rivers and lakes. This natural raw water must be abstracted and treated to become tap water that is safe for drinking.

(2) Screening

The next step in the journey of water is screening. This process removes large particles from the water, including leaves, sticks, and even fish.

(3) Coagulant Addition

Following screening, coagulants are added to the water. The Egyptians discovered how to use coagulants, leaving pictures of their water treatment techniques on tomb walls. These coagulants bind smaller particles together to form heavy particles called flocs. Flocs can then be removed from the water by gravity.

(4) Sand and Gravel Filtration

Following coagulant addition, the water still appears murky. However, the next step in the journey of water involves filtration through sand and gravel media as final particles are removed. Sand filters were first used in early 19th century London to treat public water supplies. Following filtration, the water begins to look clear. 

(5) Disinfection

Microorganisms that are too small for the eye to see can still be present in the water after filtration. These microorganisms are destroyed during the disinfection stage via ozone, chlorine, or ultraviolet light.

(6) Testing

After all these stages, the journey of water is nearly complete. However, a final round of sampling and laboratory testing is conducted before the water can be piped to our taps nationwide. Once this is complete, water reaches homes and businesses across Ireland. The whole process, from raw water collection to distribution, takes between 2 and 3 days.

Steps in drinking water supply process

Steps in the drinking water supply process 


Ensuring Water Quality

While much goes into ensuring that Irish water from our taps is safe to drink, sometimes there are shortcomings in quality standards. So, it is crucial to have water monitoring practices in place to reduce risks to public health. With nearly 3 decades of experience, Southern Scientific Services offers water quality testing to assure communities that they are drinking water that is safe to drink.

Keep your water safe, and order your drinking water test today! 



H2.0 – Revealing the Future of Water Quality.

Water Quality Advancements for the Future. With the world progressing at breakneck speed, our water quality in water sources faces some challenges, but there is a silver lining: new and existing technologies could provide potential solutions to upgrading the water quality. In this article, we will delve deep into the

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