EPA finds e. coli contamination in eight Galway group water schemes

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Eight group water schemes in Galway were found to be contaminated by e. coli in the latest report by the EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water Quality in Private Group Schemes and Small Private Supplies report published on Monday found that 69 private water supplies in Ireland had e. coli in them in 2020.

The report covers more than 380 group water schemes, supplying over 200,000 people in rural areas, along with more than 1,700 small private supplies to premises like hotels, pubs, school, nursing homes and more.

In total 20 group water schemes were found to have e. coli contamination in 2020, as well as 49 small private supplies.

Dr Tom Ryan, Director of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement, said “Consumers should expect, as a minimum, that their water is safe to drink.”

“However, compliance with the E.coli standard is not as good as it should be for water from private group water schemes and small private supplies.”

“It is essential that works to improve water quality are carried out as soon as possible to eliminate the serious risks to people’s health.”

“Water suppliers are obliged to make sure drinking water is clean and wholesome for consumers,” he added.

The EPA found that, overall, 95 per cent of private group water schemes and 96 per cent of small private supplies were compliant with e. coli standards.