Drinking Water in Ireland
Around 1.7 million cubic metres of drinking water are supplied by public water supplies and group water schemes in Ireland every day:
* 84% of the population are served by supplies from surface water such as rivers and lakes
* The rest comes from groundwater (boreholes 4% - springs 12%)
All drinking water must comply with the The European Communities (Drinking Water) (2) Regulations, 2007 which set standards for 48 individual microbiological, chemical and indicator parameters.
Who reports on Irish Drinking Water
The 34 sanitary authorities (city and county councils) are responsible for the production, distribution and monitoring of drinking water from over 900 public water supplies, serving 80% of the population. The rest is supplied by group water schemes (10%) and single house private wells (10%). Responsibility for the water quality rests with the manager/operator of the supply.
The sanitary authorities carry out regular monitoring of public water supplies and group water schemes, and send these results to the Environmental Protection Agency each year for our Annual Report on Drinking Water Quality.
Enforcement of drinking Water quality
New drinking water regulations came into force during 2007 titled the European Communities (Drinking) (Water) (No.2) Regulations 2007. Under these regulations the EPA is the supervisory authority for public water supplies. These regulations provide the EPA with powers of direction to direct a local authority to improve the management or quality of a public water supply.
The local authorities have a similar supervisory role in relation to group water schemes and private supplies. Under the regulations the local authority must notify the EPA of drinking water non-compliances or risk to public health from a public water supply. The EPA has published a guidance booklet for local authorities on the requirement to notify the EPA of drinking water non-compliances. The guidance has been issued in accordance with the powers assigned to the EPA under the new legislation.