While water quality is very high, the resilience of drinking water supplies must improve and will require sustained investment into the future, says EPA.

Date released: July 02, 2024

  • The quality of drinking water from public supplies remains very high, with over 99.7 per cent of samples compliant with bacterial and chemical limits.
  • The number of people served by “at risk” public water supplies has increased again in 2023 to 561,000, up from 481,000. This is primarily due to detections of persistent THM’s and cryptosporidium.
  • The number of long-term boil water notices was 46 in 2023, almost double the number in 2022.
  • One in twenty supplies failed to meet the THM standard in 2023.
  • Progress to remove lead from our supply networks to protect public health is far too slow.

3 July 2024: The EPA Drinking Water Quality in Public Supplies report 2023 released today, shows that over 99.7 per cent of public water supplies comply with bacterial and chemical limits, which means our public water is safe to drink.

However, many supplies still lack robust treatment measures to guarantee their long-term resilience and safety. The EPA's Remedial Action List (RAL) identifies "at-risk" supplies that require improvements to safeguard public health. In 2023 there has been a further increase in the number of people served by supplies on the RAL (up to 561,000 – from 481,000). While it is positive to note that ten supplies were removed from the RAL following improvement works, the EPA - through enforcement and assessment activities - have identified a further nine “at-risk” supplies that were added, primarily for THM and Cryptosporidium exceedances. 

Good progress has been made in other areas such as disinfection, progression of the Drinking Water Safety Plan approach and making the lead remediation grant easier for the public to access.

Launching the report, Dr Tom Ryan, EPA Director 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.”

One in twenty supplies failed to meet the Trihalomethane (THM) standard in 2023 and supplies on the RAL for THM’s are impacting almost 300,000 people.  Greater effort is needed by Uisce Éireann to implement improvements at supplies to minimise exposure to THM’s, including at major supplies such as Limerick City, and Kilkenny City. 

With regard to 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.” 

In 2023, boil water notices impacted 254,000 people. Half of boil water notices were in place for more than 30 days, nearly double the number from 2022. This recent trend of significantly more long-term boil water notices needs to be reversed by Uisce Éireann and requires proactive measures to address the underlying causes and improve the resilience of these supplies. 

The EPA Drinking Water Quality in Public Supplies report 2023 and the complete list of public water supplies currently on the Remedial Action List - including details of the proposed remedial measures and associated timeframes - are available on the EPA website.

Further information: Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or media@epa.ie

Notes to Editor

Some key findings of the 2023 report on public water supplies:

  • 99.85% of samples comply with microbiological parameter limits.
  • 99.62% of samples comply with chemical parameter limits.
  • 57 supplies were on the EPA’s Remedial Action List (RAL) at the end of 2023, compared to 58 at the end of 2022.
  • 91 boil water notices and 12 water restrictions were in place in 2023, affecting over 255,000 people.
  • 46 (increased from 25 in 2022) of those boil water notices were in place for more than 30 days, meaning they are classed as long-term notices requiring investment in infrastructure to address.
  • E. coli bacteria was detected in four supplies.
  • Trihalomethanes (THM) limits were exceeded in 41 supplies, compared to 45 in 2022.
  • Pesticides limits were exceeded in 23 supplies, compared to 17 in 2022.

The EPA has identified the following priorities for Irish Water to address on a national level to protect and improve public water supplies:

  • Progress action programmes for all Remedial Action List schemes;
  • Ensure that water is free of bacteria;
  • Ensure that water is free of protozoan organisms;
  • Ensure that water is free of chemical substances (trihalomethanes and pesticides);
  • Ensure that water treatment plants are operated correctly;
  • Eliminate lead from our drinking water networks;
  • Manage risks to our public water supplies by adopting Drinking Water Safety Plans for all supplies.

There are currently 57 supply zones serving a population of almost 561,000. The link to the revised RAL is here

Remedial Action List at the end of 2023
County Supply Population             County Supply Population
Carlow Carlow North Regional 8460   Louth Tallanstown 2010
Clare Ennistymon RWS 6492   Louth Cavanhill 46,730
Clare Corofin 1319   Mayo Louisburgh 824


West Clare RWS (old WTP) 3028   Mayo Clare Island 160
Clare West Clare RWS (new WTP) 8702   Meath Drumcondrath 1151
Cork Fermoy 7381   Meath Trim PWS 11,244
Cork Killavullen 791   Monaghan Clones 2658
Cork Ballyclough & Mount North 1977 Offaly Clara/Ferbane RWSS 7341
Cork Mitchelstown North 2317 Roscommon North East Regional 7997
Cork Newmarket 9724 Tipperary Nenagh Regional 14,483
Cork Macroom 4327 Tipperary  Roscrea 6103
Cork Whitegate Regional 9011 Tipperary Templetuohy 799
Cork Glashaboy 23,087 Tipperary Carrick-on-Suir (Linguan River) 3784
Cork Whiddy Island 47 Tipperary Clonmel (Poulavanogue) 2435
Cork Castletownbere 2328 Tipperary Galtee Regional 11,379
Donegal Milford 3714 Tipperary Kilcash 221
Donegal Lettermacaward 2266 Tipperary Glengar 470
Donegal Glenties-Ardara 3518 Tipperary Thurles Regional 11,394
Galway Inisboffin 156 Waterford Dungarvan 12,697
Kerry Lyreacrompane 2490 Waterford Graiguenageeha 43
Kerry Caragh Lake 1886 Wexford Enniscorthy 11,448
Kerry Cahersiveen 1500 Wexford Wexford Town 20,853
Kerry Kilgarvan 656 Wicklow Aughrim/Annacurra 1583

Mid-Kerry/Geara (H) 300A

9207 Wicklow Ballymorris 16
Kerry Listowel Regional Public Water Supply 14,905      
Kildare Barrow Supply (Srowland WTP)1 80,592      
Kilkenny South Kilkenny 6028      
Kilkenny Kilkenny City (Radestown) WS 14,162      
Limerick Foynes/Shannon Estuary PWS 6986      
Limerick Limerick City Environs 114,764      
Longford Longford Central 17,354      
Louth Greenmount 3836      



List of supplies currently on a Boil Water Notice (BWN) or Water Restriction (WRN) as of 2nd July 2024.
County Supply Notification Type Issued Population Affected by Notice
Cork Whitegate Regional BWN 18/10/2023 9011
Cork Ratharoon WRN 28/06/2024 8
Cork Whiddy Island WRN 19/08/2022 40
Dublin DLR ZONE 2 BWN 13/09/2023 4*
Dublin DLR ZONE 2 BWN 13/09/2023 4*
Galway Dunmore/Glenamaddy PWS BWN 17/02/2022 1
Kildare Rathangan BWN 11/04/2024 4
Limerick Cappamore Foileen PWSS BWN 26/09/2023 2321
Limerick Foynes/Shannon Estuary PWSS BWN 13/05/2023 6986
Louth South Louth/East Meath WRN 27/11/2023 3
Meath Athboy BWN 24/02/2023 5*
Meath Athboy BWN 24/02/2023 5*
Meath Athboy BWN 24/02/2023 5*
Meath Baltrasna BWN 22/12/2014 9
Tipperary Galtee Regional BWN 09/06/2023 46
Waterford Garryahylish BWN 22/12/2021 2
Waterford East Waterford Water Supply Scheme WRN 22/12/2022 3
Waterford Ballydermody WRN 12/12/2013 2
Wexford Ferns Regional BWN 28/06/2024 1673
Wicklow Killavaney Public Supply (Tinahely) BWN 04/12/2023 9
Wicklow Johnstown South (Arklow) Public Supply BWN 04/06/2015 6
Wicklow Kilballyowen (Aughrim) Public Supply BWN 14/06/2024 26
Total       20,173

*These boil water notices are separate single property notices i.e. they apply to only one property each.