Over 100 drinking water supplies need work to prevent restrictions, says EPA

Boil water notices affected nearly 40,000 people last year

Over 100 drinking water supplies need work to prevent restrictions, says EPA

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A report has found more than 100 drinking water supplies are in need of remedial works to avoid the threat of water restrictions.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says in 2015, over 99% of samples complied with the microbiological and chemical standards.

There were 35 boil water Notices were in place during 2015 for part or all of the year, affecting nearly 40,000 people.

Some 115 'at risk' public drinking water supplies were on the EPA Remedial Action List at the end of last year. These supplies serve 830,000 consumers.

Today, there are 108 supplies on this list.

While the EPA says 37 of these supplies lack adequate treatment to prevent Cryptosporidium entering drinking water.

The Drinking Water Report for 2015 indicates that the majority of the 962 drinking water supplies are safe and comply with standards.

Source: EPA

Gerard O’Leary, the director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said: "So far this year, 86,000 people have had to boil their water to make it safe.

"This is more than twice as many as last year. Without investment to address the deficiencies in the supplies on the EPA’s Remedial Action List, this type of water restriction will continue to occur."

The EPA says it has identified several key priorities that need to be addressed.

It says there is a need to eliminate long-term boil water notices, implement an action programmes for all 'at risk” supplies, and remove lead from public buildings and homes.

While senior inspector of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, Darragh Page, added: "Irish Water needs to accelerate the investment in remedial works at supplies listed on the EPA’s Remedial Action List so that the threat of long-term water restrictions is eliminated.

"Where avoidable delays have been caused to these planned upgrade works, the EPA has and will continue to take enforcement action."