EPA drinking water report reveals mixed results for Louth

Drinking water quality in Louth has improved in one category but deteriorated slightly in another, according to a report issued recently by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Drinking water quality in Louth has improved in one category but deteriorated slightly in another, according to a report issued recently by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Provision and Quality of Drinking Water in Ireland, A Report for the year 2010 assesses the safety and security of drinking water supplies in Ireland for the year 2010.

Drinking water in Louth was assessed by analysing a number of parameters. For human health, the microbiological parameters are the most important, as they can indicate a potential risk - in particular E. coli which indicates that human or animal waste has entered a water supply.

Chemical parameters are also important as long term exposure can cause a potential risk to human health. The report shows that drinking water in Louth achieved 99.3% compliance with microbiological parameters, which is a decrease from 100% in 2009 and 99.1% compliance with chemical limits which is an increase in quality compared with 97.6% in 2009.

Mr Gerard O’Leary, Programme Manager, EPA Office of Environmental Enforcement, said: “The EPA’s annual drinking water report provides a snapshot of the quality of Irish drinking water and the outcomes of the enforcement work we do.

“This report also compares the quality of drinking water in Ireland with other EU member states and the 2010 report shows that for the first time, large public water supplies in Ireland show similar compliance levels to similar supplies in England, Wales, and the Netherlands”.

This is the EPA’s fourth report on drinking water quality since new regulations were introduced in 2007 providing a greater level of consumer protection.

Local Authorities are required to notify the EPA of any failure to meet the microbiological and chemical standards or where there is a potential danger to human health.

The EPA is then responsible for ensuring that the cause of the failure is investigated and that appropriate action is taken by the local authority to correct the problem. The report is available on the EPA website at www.epa.ie and contains a summary for each local authority.