New Report on Quality of Ireland’s Public Water Details Positive Findings & Challenges 

ireland's public water

New Report on Quality of Ireland’s Public Water Details Positive Findings & Challenges 

The quality of Ireland’s public water has been described in a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report. Despite some positive overall findings, there are significant problems that persist. Keep reading to find out what these problems are and how they are being addressed!


Overview of Ireland’s Public Water Quality 

Positive Findings: The report shows that Ireland’s public drinking water supplies remain among the best in the world. Nationwide, there is an impressive 99.7% compliance with microbiological and chemical standards. 

Challenges: The EPA report detailed a rise in people using “at risk” water supplies. This number increased to 561,000 in 2023, up from 481,000 in 2022. The rise is mainly due to the detection of Trihalomethane chemicals (THMs) and the microorganism Cryptosporidium


Key Problem Areas in Ireland’s Public Water Supplies

Limerick City and Barrow Supply: These two areas account for over 40% of the affected population, highlighting areas for further focus.

Long-term Issues: Seven water supplies have been on the remedial action list for over a year. Uisce Éireann is actively working on improvement plans.

Boil Water Notices: In 2023, 255,000 people were affected by 91 Boil Water Notices and 12 Water Restrictions. This represents a 15% increase in Boil Water Notices and a 40% rise in the number of people affected.


Persistent Challenges and Ongoing Efforts

While progress has been made, there are areas requiring further attention:

Lead Removal: Efforts to remove lead from public water supplies are ongoing, with over 61,000 lead connections replaced since 2014.

THM Levels: THMs were detected in 23 water supplies in 2023, up from 17 in the previous year. One in 20 supplies failed to meet the THM standard, affecting 300,000 people, an increase from 235,000 in 2022. Heavier rainfall events linked to climate change have contributed to this issue.

Long-term Boil Water Notices: Half of the Boil Water Notices were in place for over 30 days, with some lasting more than a year. 


Continued Action to Improve Ireland’s Public Water 

EPA Programme Manager Noel Byrne emphasised the need for continued efforts to improve water supply resilience. While acknowledging the high quality of water, he stressed the importance of addressing reliability issues. 

Uisce Éireann has proactively addressed the challenges in Ireland’s public water supplies. In 2023, they invested over €530 million in upgrading Ireland’s drinking water infrastructure. Notable achievements include:

New Infrastructure: Completion of a new treated water reservoir at Saggart, Co Dublin.

Lead Connection Replacements: Over 61,000 lead connections have been replaced since 2014.

Water Treatment Improvements: Significant upgrades of treatment plants in various locations, benefiting communities across Ireland.


Conclusion for Ireland’s Public Water Supplies

The EPA report shows that 99.7% of public water supplies comply with quality standards. However, challenges remain with bacterial contamination and high levels of certain chemicals. Proactive measures and significant investments by Uisce Éireann demonstrate a commitment to ensuring safe and reliable water for all. Monitoring water for bacteria and chemicals is important to address existing problems. 


Follow the links below to learn about Southern Scientific’s: 

Bacteria in Water Test 

Chemicals in Water Test

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