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EPA report on water quality in private wells ‘a wake up call’ – Ó Broin

9 March, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Water Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on an Environment Protection Agency (EPA) report which finds that water quality in private water supplies is consistently poorer than public water supplies, saying that the findings of the report should serve as “a wake up call” and highlights the lack of investment in water services.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said:

“The EPA report focused on private water supplies. The report found that of the 2,676 private water supplies registered in this state, 37% were not monitored in any way for E.coli.  Worryingly, of the private supplies not monitored, 270 are hotels or restaurants, 99 serve national schools or childcare centres, and 23 serve nursing homes. The report also estimates that 30% of the 170,000 household wells across the state are contaminated by E.coli.

“What is clear from this report is that there needs to be greater local authority intervention. Only 48 audits of private water supplies were carried out by eight local authorities in 2015 and no prosecutions were reported to the EPA.

“Local Authorities must be adequately resourced both in terms of funding and staffing levels in order to ensure that more inspections can take place. This state has the highest incidence of VTEC, the pathogenic form of E.Coli in Europe. This is not good enough. It is time for the Government to take these EPA reports more seriously and act accordingly to ensure that the public is not at risk.” 

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