What are the most important issues affecting drinking water quality in public water supplies?

The EPA has identified the most important issues, which should be addressed on a national level, to protect and improve drinking water supplies. These are the national priorities for public drinking water supplies: 

  • Keeping water free of harmful bacteria (disinfection) 
  • Minimising harmful disinfection by-products 
  • Eliminating lead from pipework 
  • Preventing pesticides from entering our waters 
  • Managing risks to water supplies 
  • Ensuring all water treatment plants are effective

Have you a private water supply?

Where does our water come from? Depending on where you live, your water supply either comes from a public water supply operated by Irish Water, or a private water supply such as group water schemes or your own household well.  Browse through our environment and you section to read more about drinking water.

Browse by Drinking water


Environmental Data Exchange Network (EDEN)

EDEN is the EPA's online web portal for Local Authorities and licensees to communicate with the EPA on numerous applications.

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Quality in Public supplies

An overview report

Learn more about the quality of drinking water in public water supplies and public group schemes during 2020.

Latest News and Press Releases

in: Drinking water
Vulnerability of Ireland’s drinking water supplies must be urgently addressed by Irish Water, says EPA

Date released: December 14, 2021

The EPA Drinking Water Quality in Public Supplies Report 2020 released today, shows that the quality of drinking water in public supplies remains high, with over 99.7% compliance with bacterial and chemical limits. The continued high levels of water quality being achieved are positive for consumers and indicate that the water is safe to drink. However, improvements are needed in our drinking water infrastructure to protect public health. Delays in the delivery of these improvements at water treatment plants by Irish Water means that water supplies remain vulnerable for longer, posing a risk to the health of a large portion of the population.

The protection of public health is of paramount importance in the provision of our public drinking water supplies, says EPA

Date released: September 17, 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage this week to advise of its’ concerns in relation to incidents at two drinking water treatment plants. EPA investigations at these plants revealed the abject failure of managerial oversight, operational control and responsiveness by Irish Water and local authorities in terms of their respective roles to deliver safe and secure drinking water.

The quality of drinking water in private water supplies is not good enough and is putting health at risk warns EPA

Date released: February 11, 2021

The EPA today released the Drinking Water Quality in Private Supplies 2019 report. One million people in Ireland get their drinking water from a private supply and many more drink water from small private supplies like hotels, pubs and restaurants, crèches, nursing homes and national schools in their daily lives.