EPA Release Public Drinking Water Quality Report 2023

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The Drinking Water Quality in Public Supplies Report 2023 has been released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This report has revealed that the quality of public drinking water supplies in this country remains very high. The report says that over 99.7% of samples taken from public drinking water were compliant with bacterial and chemical limits.  

Although the quality of public drinking water in Ireland is very high the report also found that there has been an increase in the number of people served by ‘at risk’ water supplies. In 2023 the number of people served by these water supplies rose from 481,000 to 561,000. The supplies that have been identified as ‘at risk’ by the EPA will require improvements to safeguard public health. Coupled with the identification of these ‘at risk’ supplies, the EPA’s report found that many supplies lack robust treatment measures to maintain their long-term safety. All ‘at risk’ water supplies in this country have been published in the Remedial Action List. This list contains 9 areas in Tipperary where water supplies need improvement for public health and safety.  

In the areas of disinfection, progression of the Drinking Water Safety Plan and making the lead remediation grant easier for the public to access. These areas have been identified as sectors where good progress has been made.  

Launching the report, Dr Tom Ryan, Director of the EPA said:  

Our public water quality remains very high, which means that the public can remain confident that drinking water supplied to their homes is safe to drink. However, the resilience of drinking water supplies isn’t robust enough as evidenced by more “at-risk” supplies being identified by the EPA, and an almost doubling of long-term boil water notices in 2023. Implementing the findings of Drinking Water Safety Plans will be crucial to improve the resilience of supplies- this will require corresponding sustained investment in water services to continue to provide the people of Ireland with a safe and secure supply into the future.” 

Regarding lead in drinking water, Noel Byrne, EPA Programme Manager said:  

“Lead in our drinking water is a cumulative risk to human health and must be removed from our drinking supply network. Despite Ireland having a National Lead Strategy in place since 2015 progress to date has been far too slow. Uisce Éireann must accelerate the rollout of their lead mitigation plan to deal with the public supply network; the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Department of Health must outline their plans for lead replacement in public buildings and householders with lead pipes in their homes should avail of the enhanced lead remediation grant scheme to protect their health.” 



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