EPA Reveals E. Coli Water Concerns

30 water supplies across Ireland are currently on 'boil water' notices or restrictions, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says there is "more to do" to supply safe water to the public.

The EPA's Drinking Water Report for 2012 shows public water supplies serving more than 82% of the population have improved year-on-year over the past five years.

There has been a 92% reduction in E. coli exceedances in public water supplies since 2005, while the number of supplies requiring improvement is down from 339 to 140 in five years.

Remedial works on a further 70 supplies are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Gerard O'Leary, Director of EPA's Office of Environmental Enforcement said: "The results show progress, but the results also show that Irish Water, the new state utility, has a lot of work to do to provide safe and secure drinking water to the public.

"In Roscommon, 15,443 people on public supplies are currently on boil water notices and, overall, 30 supplies across the country are currently on boil water notices or water restrictions. These figures are unacceptable."

EPA said the quality of drinking water from private supplies "remains inferior to that from public supplies and gives cause for concern."

In 2012, the HSE reported a doubling of the number of VTEC cases, a particularly harmful form of E. coli.

"We continue to be concerned about the number of VTEC cases," said David Flynn, Programme Manager, Office of Environmental Enforcement.

"Any form of E. coli is an indicator of faecal matter in the water supply, and VTEC can have particularly serious consequences. We would urge the owners of private supplies to check their water sources, and ensure that they are adequately protected and the water is disinfected."

The report also said poor weather increases the risk of contamination to water supplies, as rainfall can wash potential contaminants into water supplies.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 September 2017
Very High Compliance In Safety Of Drinking Water Supply - EPA
The majority of Ireland's water supply meets a very high level of compliance but further improvements are necessary to improve the security of supplies and avoid water restrictions, according to the EPA Drinking Water Report. The key findings of the report, published today, include: • 99.9% of samples comply with the microbiological standards • 99.
23 September 2022
NI Drinking Water Quality 'Remains High'
The quality of drinking water across NI remains highs, according to the latest report from the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).
10 September 2019
EPA Raise Concerns Over 'Inadequate' Drinking Water Plants
Cryptosporidium, a bug that causes serious stomach illness, was found in 25 public water supplies in 2018, up from 17 in 2017 and 12 in 2016, according to the latest report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
01 December 2011
Downward Trend In E.coli Reported
The positive downward trend in E.coli in drinking water in recent years continued in 2010, according to a new report released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For the first time, large public drinking water supplies in Ireland show similar compliance levels for E.coli to similar supplies in England and Wales, and the Netherlands.
28 June 2018
Demand For Water 'Critically High'
Demand for water remains "critically high", with Irish Water urging the public to conserve water while the prolonged dry spell that has been predicted by Met Éireann, continues.