Drinking Water Quality

The EPA Drinking Water Report for Public Water Supplies 2015 provides an overview of the quality of drinking water in public water supplies in Ireland during 2015, based on monitoring data from Irish Water, and the regulation of public supplies by the EPA. 

The EPA Focus on Private Water Supplies 2015 report provides an overview of both the quality and enforcement of private drinking water supplies in Ireland for 2015, based on monitoring and enforcement data from 28 local authorities.

Quality of Public Water Supplies

The safety of public water supplies in Ireland is determined by comparing the results of over 185,500 monitoring tests against the parametric limits set out in the Regulations.

On water supply safety, the EPA found that in 2015:

  • E. coli compliance in Public Water Supplies continues to improve.  Since 2007, there has been an 86.5% reduction in the number of public water supplies reporting E. coli exceedances. E.coli was detected at least once in 7 supplies, down 1 on 2014.
  • Trihalomethanes compliance in public water supplies increased from 90.7% in 2014 to 91% in 2015.  Trihalomethanes limit was exceeded in 59 supplies the same as 2014. 
  • 35 Boil Notices and 9 Water Restriction Notices were issued, affecting 47,271 people.     

Priority Actions

The EPA has addressed the following recommendations, in relation to Public Water Supplies, to Irish Water:

  • Eliminate long-term Boil Water Notices by improving disinfection standards.
  • Implement the National Lead Strategy.
  • Optimise chemical dosing and improve treatment to reduce THM exceedances.
  • Priortise RAL schemes for improvement/investment.
  • Protecrt sources and abstraction points.
  • Develop Drinking Water Safety Plans.

Completing the remedial action programmes, improving controls on chemical dosing, source protection and compliance with the Good Agricultural Practice regulations will help improve the resilience of our water supplies.  In addition, applying the water safety plan approach will provide an integrated way to manage risks associated with drinking water supplies from catchment to consumer into the future.

Owners of private wells should ensure that they are designed, located, installed and maintained properly.  Wells should be tested regularly, particularly after a prolonged period of heavy rainfall, since this is when the well may be overwhelmed and contaminated.

Find out more

Find drinking water quality results in your water supply zone on Irish Water's website 

Download drinking water datasets (Look for drinking water monitoring results and water supply details for Ireland in the list)