Drinking Water in Ireland

Irish Water - Drinking WaterOn 1st January 2014 Irish Water became responsible for the production, distribution and monitoring of drinking water from over 1000 public water supplies, serving 82.0% of the population.

The remainder of the population is supplied by group water schemes (6.6%), small private supplies (0.8%) and private wells (10.6%) that are exempt under the Regulations.  Responsibility for the water quality rests with the manager/operator of the supply.

Irish Water is responsible for the monitoring of public water supplies and the local authorities are responsible for monitoring of group water schemes and regulated small private supplies.  The Environmental Protection Agency produces an Annual Report on Drinking Water Quality based on these monitoring results.

New drinking water regulations came into force in 2014.

  • These regulations provide the EPA with supervisory powers for public water supplies.
  • The EPA can direct Irish Water to improve the management or quality of a public water supply.
  • The local authorities have a similar supervisory role in relation to group water schemes and private supplies.
  • Under the regulations Irish Water must notify the EPA of drinking water non-compliances or risk to public health from a public water supply.

The EPA has published a handbook on the implementation of the regulations to provide guidance to water suppliers.  The EPA also publishes water treatment manuals and advice notes to provide practical guidance to water suppliers.