Thursday 17 January 2019

Drinking water to soon be up to EU standards - 16 years after deadline

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Drinking water supplies will be in line with EU standards by 2020, some 16 years after the deadline for compliance passed, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said.

The latest drinking water quality report says overall quality is good, but that 72 supplies remain at risk of being contaminated with E. coli, cryptosporidium or other issues.

Some 52 of these supplies have elevated levels of THMs, a chemical by-product formed when natural material reacts with chlorine during the disinfection process, while 17 lack treatment to prevent cryptosporidium entering the supply.

Upgrading works on 38 supplies will be completed by the end of the year, Irish Water said.

"Irish Water plans to have all public drinking water supplies compliant with existing EU public health standards by the end of 2020," said EPA director Gerard O'Leary.

"These standards came into force 16 years ago. Continued investment will be required to achieve compliance with current public health standards and new standards expected to be in place by 2020."

Irish Water said it had made progress on a number of fronts, but it was "clear that much more remains to be done".

Irish Independent

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