Tuesday 17 September 2019

Drinking water supplies serving crèches, nursing homes and hotels could pose health risk

Paul Melia Environment Editor

Some drinking water supplies serving crèches, nursing homes and hotels are not routinely monitored and could pose a risk to public health.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said while monitoring has increased, more than 50 private drinking water supplies were found to be contaminated with human or animal waste at least once over the last year.

Some 38 public group water schemes, and 711 small supplies, were not tested for e-coli, and the environmental watchdog warned that private supplies were at greater risk of being contaminated than those in the public system.

“We are concerned about the continuing poor quality of drinking water in private supplies serving commercial or public activities such as crèches, nursing homes and hotels,” EPA director Dr Tom Ryan said.

“Many of these supplies are not being monitored for water quality. The consumption of water of unknown quality poses a serious health risk to consumers, particularly vulnerable people such as the young and elderly.”

The report on the quality of private water supplies shows that 99.5pc of public group water schemes are fully compliant with the e-coli standard, which drops to 96.7pc of private group schemes and 95.7pc of small private supplies.

Some 168 boil water notices affecting over 12,000 people were issued to consumers of water in private water supplies last year.

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