drinking water

  • Farmers and others using pesticides are being urged to use best practice when spraying, to protect the region's drinking water.

    Irish Water has confirmed that exceedances in pesticides are on the increase across Co Mayo, with exceedances detected during last year in the Westport public water supply, Newport, Louisburg and Kiltimagh water supply schemes.

    While there is no threat to public health, they say it's imperative that those using pesticides are mindful of best practice when spraying their lands, to protect drinking water quality.

    In Ireland, 82% of drinking water supplies come from surface water sources - such as rivers, lakes and streams - and such supplies are vulnerable to contamination from land and animal run-off.

    The herbicide MCPA - which is commonly used to kill rushes on wet land - is the main offender.

    A single drop of pesticide is enough the breach the drinking water limit in a small stream for up to 30 kilometres, which highlights the level of care needed to protect  drinking water sources.

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    Drinking water at 12 properties had above the legal limit of lead this year.

    A property in Co Roscommon had 15 times the limit, and other failures were in Limerick, Tipperary, Kildare and Dublin.

    Irish Water says the problems were found to be largely within the properties in question - and are the owners' responsibility.

  • The latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency shows the quality of drinking water in public supplies across the country remains high.

    The EPA Drinking Water Report for 2017 shows a high level of compliance with microbiological and chemical standards, indicating that most of our water supplies are safe to drink.

    However, there are currently 72 "at risk" supplies on the EPA Remedial Action List.

    It's expected drinking water in Ireland will be in line with EU standards by 2010 - 16 years after the deadline for compliance.

    The number of public water supplies on the Remedial Action List has fallen from 339 ten years ago to 72 at present.

    Irish Water says upgrading works on 38 of these supplies will be finished by the end of the year.

    There are no public water supplies in Co Mayo currently on the Remedial Action List, however, there are two in both counties Roscommon and Galway - both of which are due for completion by the end of this year.

    9 water supplies across the country are currently on a boil water notice - including the Lough Talt scheme will supplies water to over 12,000 people mainly in Co Sligo.

    A planning application has been submitted for a new plant to tackle water quality on the Lough Talt scheme, but the EPA says that due to planning difficulties, there is no timeframe available yet for the completion of these works.

  • A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that, while the quality of drinking water in public supplies across Mayo remains high, two water supplies in the county were on the EPA's Remedial Action List at the end of 2019.

    The Newport Public Water Scheme, which has ongoing levels of pesticides, and the Ballycastle scheme, which has inadequate treatment for cryptosporidium, are among  52 water supplies listed nationally, supplying drinking water to over one million people, that are "vulnerable to failure", the EPA has warned.

    The completion date for the Ballycastle scheme is next month - August 2020 - while in Newport, the EPA direction to Irish Water requires compliance by December 2021.

    Meanwhile there are 17 water supplies across the country currently on a boil water notice - including the Lough Talt Regional Water Supply in Sligo which affects over 12, 500 customers.

    A boil water notice was issued for the Lough Talt supply in January 2019 due to cryptosporidium, and remains in place currently.

    An action plan for improving the water quality in Lough Talt is in place, and is due for completion by the end of this year.

    The EPA report also says a slowdown in replacing lead pipes means Irish Water's plan to remove all lead from public water supplies by 2026 could take 60 years.