- 99.7% of Ireland’s drinking water supplies fully compliant with standards
- Over €500m invested in Ireland’s drinking water infrastructure in 2022
- Major projects completed include Cork City’s Lee Road Water Treatment Plant
- Over 51,000 lead connections replaced since 2014
1 August 2023 – The latest Drinking Water Report published by the EPA shows that Ireland’s public drinking water supplies remain among the best in the world, with an impressive 99.7% compliance with microbiological and chemical standards. This is a result of the ongoing high level of investment and improved operational measures being implemented by Uisce Éireann, Ireland’s national water authority.
Tom Cuddy, Uisce Éireann’s Head of Asset Operations said, “Uisce Éireann operates over 700 water treatment plants across Ireland and we are committed to delivering transformative water services which enable communities to thrive.
“In 2022, we invested over €500 million in our water treatment plants and networks, with a number of new water treatment plants built or significantly upgraded and an additional 30 sites enhanced under the National Disinfection Programme. Key projects completed include a new treatment plant in Cork City benefitting over 97,000 people with a cleaner, more secure drinking water supply. We have also built or upgraded water treatment plants in Skibbereen (Cork), Mountain Stage and Ballyheigue (Kerry), Ballymagroarty (Donegal), Ballymahon (Longford) and Athlone (Westmeath). In addition, 2022 saw the progression of another significant upgrade of the Leixlip Water Treatment Plant which is benefitting over 600,000 customers in Dublin with improved drinking water quality.”
“We have an ambitious capital investment programme, through which we will continue to improve the safety and resilience of Ireland’s drinking water supplies in the years to come.”
The EPA report in particular recognises the ongoing improvements made by Uisce Éireann in testing, monitoring and assessing water supplies and the key role this has played in identifying risks to drinking water quality, ensuring a safer water supply for all. Many of these risks came to light due to the more robust testing, sampling and operational control measures put in place. In some cases, this has resulted in temporary Boil Water Notices or other restrictions being introduced to protect public health while the problems are addressed. Over two-thirds of the Boil Water Notices imposed in 2022 were dealt with and rescinded within 30 days.
Uisce Éireann also continues to make progress in addressing known risks to water supplies which are on the EPA’s Remedial Action List. In 2022, 11 more supplies were removed from the list following the completion of remedial actions. For those supplies that remain on the list, Uisce Éireann is progressing plans to address any underlying issues and ensure resilient water supplies for the communities they serve.
Tom Cuddy added, “The EPA Drinking Water Report shows that the resilience and security of Ireland’s drinking water supplies continues to improve. We have increased investment in our drinking water services year on year, and this is reaping big benefits for our customers and communities nationwide, giving them the assurance that, when they turn on their taps, they can enjoy clean, safe drinking water.
“Public health is our top priority, and we will continue to invest in our infrastructure and implement operational improvement measures to deliver world class drinking water supplies for all our customers. Through initiatives such as our national disinfection programme, the rollout of the Drinking Water Safety Plan approach, and our enhanced testing and monitoring of treatment plants, we have made enormous strides in ensuring more secure and resilient supplies.
“We recognise that challenges remain in addressing all the issues associated with our ageing water infrastructure. It will take a number of years and sustained high levels of investment to address all these legacy issues, but we are confident that our ambitious capital investment programme will enable us to transform Ireland’s water services and ensure a safe, sustainable, secure and reliable drinking water supply for everyone now and into the future.”
Detailed information on water quality in all public water supplies is available on the Uisce Éireann website, www.water.ie.