Agriculture and septic tanks source of dangerous E.coli found in 40pc of water sites
More than 40pc of groundwater sources that provide drinking water for two million people are contaminated with the dangerous bug E.coli, found in human and animal faeces.
The EPA said the source of the contamination is generally agriculture or septic tanks. It warned that many private water suppliers abstract from groundwater and may have limited or no treatment and that drinking water regulations specify a value of zero number/100 ml E. coli.
A report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that water quality has deteriorated between 2015 and 2017, and unless pollution from agriculture and wastewater treatment systems is addressed, there will be further declines.
The 'Water Quality in 2017' indicators report highlights that we are losing high-quality river sites, and that more pollution is entering the sea from our rivers.
"Clean, healthy water is essential to our health and well-being," Dr Matt Crowe from the EPA said.
"The signals in this report are not good and tell us that water quality is still getting worse in some areas despite improvements in others.
"This is simply unacceptable. We must do more to halt deterioration in water quality so that we protect this most precious public resource."
The report highlights how tackling sources of pollution is leading to improvements. Fish kills are at an all-time low with 14 reported last year, compared with 31 in 2016.