Groundwater in Ireland

Groundwater is the water that trickles through the soil and into underlying rocks during the Water Cycle. Once in the bedrock the water moves slowly through and is stored in the pores or cracks in the rock.  If enough water is stored in this way in a bedrock deposit, it is referred to as an aquifer.

Groundwater seeps up and emerges at ground level by coming out at springs or by flowing into rivers. It can also be pumped up from the aquifers.

  • Approximately 26% of Ireland ‘s drinking water supply is provided by groundwater or springs if both   public and private supplies are taken into account.
  • Groundwater is not usually subjected to any treatment and groundwater monitoring networks are in place to check if levels of purity are in line with drinking water standards.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has a Groundwater Monitoring Programme to monitor groundwater quality using a selection of public and private wells and springs countrywide.
  • Particular consideration has been given to the concentration levels of certain pollution indicators such as ammonium, nitrates, phosphates and faecal coliforms (a bacteria found in faeces).