Population on boil water notices at an historic low. Elimination of the threat of long-term boil water notices is a priority.

Date released: Oct 14 2015

  • Monitoring of public drinking water in Ireland shows that:
    • 99.9% of samples comply with the microbiological standards
    • 99.4% of samples comply with the chemical standards
  • There are 6,000 people on a long term boil water notice today, down from a peak of 23,000 in early 2015.
  • There are 112 “at risk” supplies on the EPA Remedial Action List.  Of these, 30 lack adequate treatment to prevent Cryptosporidium entering the supply.
  • Comprehensive national strategies will be necessary to address key priorities such as disinfection, disinfection by-products, lead, pesticides and water safety planning.

Drinking Water Infographic jpeg

The EPA Drinking Water Report 2014, released today, shows a high level of compliance with the microbiological and chemical standards.  While this indicates that the majority of our water supplies are safe, further improvements are necessary to improve the security of our supplies and avoid long term boil water notices into the future.

Commenting following the release of the report, Mr. Gerard O’Leary, Director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said,

“The number of consumers that are served by water supplies subject to a boil water notice has reduced from over 23,000 consumers to fewer than 6,000 currently.  This reduction is due to prioritising investment in key ‘at risk’ supplies in County Roscommon and other vulnerable areas in 2015.

“Despite this welcome, large reduction in boil water notices, Irish Water needs to press ahead now with remedial works on the outstanding 16 public water supplies so that the threat of long-term boil water notices is eliminated.”

David Flynn, Programme Manager of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said,

“The EPA Remedial Action List identifies 112 supplies - serving 770,000 consumers - that are in need of improvement to ensure the safety and security of these supplies.  Thirty supplies on the Remedial Action List are in County Kerry alone.  Overall, the pace of investment in water treatment must continue to increase so that we eliminate the risk of Cryptosporidium and the risk of long term boil water notices.”

The EPA Drinking Water Report 2014 and the complete list of public water supplies currently on the Remedial Action List (RAL) - including details of the proposed remedial measures and associated timeframes - is aslo available . Infographics explaining the report and public water supplies at risk are also available. 


Notes to Editor:

Some key findings of the 2014 report on the 973 public water supplies:

  • 99.90% of samples comply with microbiological parameters.
  • 99.44% of samples comply with chemical parameters.
  • 199 boil water notices and a further 15 water restrictions were issued. 158 of the boil water notices were precautionary and were due to Storm Darwin.
  • E.coli was detected at least once in 8 supplies, compared to 10 supplies in 2013.
  • Trihalomethanes limits were exceeded in 59 supplies (61 supplies in 2013).
  • 121 supplies were on the EPA’s Remedial Action List (RAL) at the end of 2014, this reduced to 112 by October 2015.
  • 29 directions were issued by the EPA in 2014.

Some key findings of the 2014 report on Private Water Supplies:

  • 97.26% of samples comply with microbiological parameters.
  • 99.54% of samples comply with chemical parameters.
  • E.coli detected at least once on 76 small private supplies and 24 private group water schemes.
  • Though the quality of water in private group water schemes improved, microbiological quality of private supplies remains inferior to public supplies.

The EPA’s priorities for Irish Water are to finalise and implement national strategies to achieve the following key objectives:

  • Elimination of long term boil water notices by improving disinfection standards.
  • Implementation of the Irish Water National Lead Strategy.
  • Optimisation of disinfection and improving treatment systems to reduce Trihalomethanes exceedances.
  • Prioritising investment in Remedial Action List (RAL) schemes.
  • Protect sources and abstraction points through appropriate catchment-based measures.
  • Adopt Drinking Water Safety Plans for all supplies.

List of the 16 supplies currently on Boil Water Notice

Name of SupplyCountyPopulation Affected
Cloran Regional* Tipperary 9
Gortnapisha Regional* Tipperary 9
Burncourt Regional* Tipperary 178
Templetney Borehole* Tipperary 20
Killaraght Public Water Supply Sligo 128
North East Regional Roscommon 3,908
Nire Waterford 16
Williamstown PS Galway 1,020
Baltrasna

Meath

9
Loughill PWS Limerick 18
Chestnut Grove Wexford 20
Lough Talt Regional Water Supply Sligo 78
Johnstown South (Arklow) Wicklow 6
North Leitrim Regional Leitrim 122
Leenane P.S. Galway 219
Kiltyclogher Leitrim 333