private water supplies

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is warning that drinking water in the country's private water supplies is not good enough and is putting people's health at risk.

    In its latest Drinking Water Quality report for 2019, the watchdog says more than 100 private supplies failed to meet bacterial standards.

    Bacteria in water supplies can make people very ill - particularly young children and the elderly.

    1 million people get their drinking water from a private supply, and many more drink water from small private supplies, such as hotels, pubs and restaurants, nursing homes and schools.

    Of the 1,418 small private supplies monitored, 88 failed to meet the standards relating to bacteria, while 20 of the 417 private group schemes failed to meet the standards.

    The EPA is also concerned that almost one in 5 small private supplies were not monitored in 2019, which makes it impossible to be confident that the water is safe to drink.

    In Mayo, 6 of the 37 small private group schemes were not monitored for e-coli.

    The report also shows that in 2019, 14 boil water notices were put in place on Mayo schemes, with one Do Not Consume notice -these impacted on almost 2,700 customers.

    It also lists 8 private supplies in Mayo with THM failures, or are on the Department's remedial action list.

    The EPA says local authorities must ensure than monitoring is undertaken, in line with regulations.

    Senior water inspector at the EPA, Dr Michelle Minihan says local authorities need to do more to improve the water quality:



  • Crèches, nursing homes and hotels using their own wells for drinking water, could pose a serious health risk.

    A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency expresses concern about the standard of some private water supplies, and found the quality of drinking water in private supplies remains poorer than that in public supplies.

    Small private supplies serve commercial or public buildings and are drawn from springs or wells -these have the poorest water quality.

    One million people in Ireland  - or almost 20% of the population - get their drinking water from private water supplies including household wells.

    But this report says many of these supplies aren't registered with local authorities and so don't get tested properly to ensure the water is safe.

    Last year E. coli - the contamination linked to human or animals waste - was found in 51 small private water supplies serving commercial buildings like hotels and B&Bs or public buildings like schools and crèches.

    Meanwhile, no E. coli testing was reported for over 700 other small supplies - including 22 private supplies in Co Mayo.

    The EPA is concerned about the health risks particularly for children and the elderly - and it's urging owners of all private water supplies to register with their local authority.

    Owners are also urged to protect their private supply by checking the source of the water and checking for any sources of pollution, as well as testing the supply annually.