Slight drop in water quality

Drinking water quality in County Donegal has deteriorated slightly according to a report issued recently by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Drinking water quality in County Donegal has deteriorated slightly according to a report issued recently by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Donegal’s drinking water was tested under EU regulations for both microbiological and chemical standards.

The report, the Provision and Quality of Drinking Water in Ireland, A Report for the years 2008 – 2009, shows that drinking water in County Donegal achieved 99.8% and 99.4% compliance with microbiological and chemical parameters respectively in 2009, compared to 99.8% and 99.7% in 2008.

The most important health indicators of drinking water quality are the microbiological parameters; Enterococci but in particular E.coli. County Donegal had one incidence of E.coli contamination in 2009. However, the regulations also set out standards for 26 chemical parameters and in this capacity there was a very slight deterioration.

Commenting on the report Mr Gerard O’Leary, Programme Manager, EPA Office of Environmental Enforcement, said:

“The EPA targeted a reduction in the detection of E.coli in drinking water in recent years and today we are seeing the success of this programme with a 50 per cent reduction in two years. Despite this reduction investment needs to be maintained to bring detection levels in line with other EU countries.”

This is the EPA’s third report on drinking water quality since new regulations were introduced in 2007 providing a greater level of consumer protection. The regulations require all local authorities to notify the EPA where there is a potential risk to human health, and to comply with directions given by the EPA.

Leo Sweeney, Manger of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said:

“The focused investment in water treatment plants at risk of failing to meet drinking water standards has brought about much needed improvements to our drinking water infrastructure. An additional 500,000 people are now served by supplies that have been removed from our Remedial Action List.”