Ireland ‘at risk of failing EU water quality standards’

DRINKING water in Ireland is in danger of failing to meet the EU’s water quality standards, experts have warned.

The issue was raised during a conference hosted by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and Engineers Ireland to address the drinking water challenges facing consumers and to encourage that voluntary standards are used by drinking water suppliers.

Speaking at the conference, NSAI chief executive Maurice Buckley described the water industry as “highly fragmented”.

“Some 29 county councils and over 5,500 group schemes provide Irish consumers with their drinking water. The reported drinking water health issues in Galway and Ennis have shaken public confidence in Ireland’s water supplies. It is essential we have reliable systems and procedures in place to ensure the public can have confidence in their drinking water.

“NSAI is urging local authorities, county councils and other water suppliers to consider implementing standards as part of their service strategy,” he said. Mr Buckley said significant investment has been made by government and local authorities in ensuring our drinking water is safe, but numerous reports show Ireland is still in danger of failing to meet the EU’s water quality standards.

“Citizens assume the water in their taps is of the highest standard and quality. Standards provide and promote access to safe drinking water for Ireland’s population and I believe their use by water suppliers would increase public confidence.”

Engineers Ireland director general John Power said investment in water infrastructure should be a priority.

“The highest quality and standards of engineering are vital to the provision of safe drinking water.

“This is important from a population growth, climate change and environmental management perspective.”


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