Irish Water is responsible for the production, distribution and monitoring of drinking water from over 900 public water supplies. Where a public supply is not in place, a home or premises may be supplied by a group water scheme, a small private supply or a private well.
Irish Water is responsible for the monitoring of public water supplies and Local Authorities are responsible for monitoring of group water schemes and regulated small private supplies. Private wells are not covered by the Drinking Water Regulations.
The Environmental Protection Agency produces an annual Drinking Water Report for Public Water Supplies 2019 & and Private Supply Drinking Water Report, which provide an overview of the quality of drinking water in public and private supplies. The reports are based on the assessment of monitoring results reported to the EPA by Irish Water and the Local Authorities, and on EPA and Local Authority enforcement activities.
The current Drinking Water Regulations (S.I. No. 122 of 2014) came into force in 2014 and were amended in 2017 (S.I. No. 464 of 2017). These regulations provide the EPA with supervisory powers for public water supplies. The EPA can direct Irish Water to improve the management or quality of a public water supply. The Local Authorities have a similar supervisory role in relation to group water schemes and small private supplies. Under the regulations, Irish Water must notify the EPA of drinking water quality failures or risk to public health from a public water supply.
The EPA has published a handbook on the implementation of the regulations to provide guidance to water suppliers. The EPA also publishes water treatment manuals and advice notes to provide practical guidance to water suppliers. An explanation of the significance of each of the parameters listed in the drinking water regulations.
In 2008, the EPA reviewed all public water and identified those supplies in need of upgrading, replacement or improved operational control. This list (the RAL) was published and is updated quarterly by the EPA. Further information on the RAL.
The EPA carries out audits of public drinking water supplies. These audits are an important way of checking how the water supplier is performing and making sure that the Drinking Water Regulations are being complied with. The EPA audit may include checks on the water source, the water treatment works, the management of the distribution system, the sampling and analytical methods used, and consumer contacts about water quality. When deciding on which supplies to audit, the EPA will focus on the supplies in most need of attention.
Following an audit, the EPA prepares a report which summarises the main findings of the audit. Where problems are found, Irish Water is required to take appropriate actions. The EPA checks to make sure the actions are taken. View the audit reports.
Where monitoring shows that there is a failure to meet the water quality limits set by the 2014 Drinking Water Regulations in a public supply, the EPA must be informed. An online system for this purpose is accessible by means of a unique Username and Password supplied by the EPA. A user manual and training videos are available at ODWNS Training Videos. Queries on the use of the Online Drinking Water Notification System should be directed to email@example.com.
Find out general information on drinking water on the Citizens Information website