CORK county has the highest number of private water supplies in the country not monitored regularly for e.coli contamination.
That’s according to the Environmental Protection Agency who said it’s concerned about risks to public health from poor quality drinking water from private supplies.
They’ve identified 283 supplies in Cork county, out of a total of 423, which are not monitored for the bacteria which can cause gastro illnesses, and even kidney failure, especially in young and old.
The next highest after Cork is Wicklow, at 84 unmonitored schemes.
The EPA also revealed that a total of 34 boil notices were issued last year in relation to private water schemes in Cork, the second highest.
Private water supplies are mainly in rural areas and they are where 1m Irish people source their drinking water. The EPA has urged those with private schemes to test their water annually.
This is advice was echoed this week by Aidan Holland, managing director of Acorn Water, Bandon.
The business tests water quality for private clients and public organisations on a national level, and Aidan says one in every two well water samples they receive fails on at least one parameter.
‘The first thing we need to do to raise standards in water quality is to increase levels of monitoring,’ he said. ‘Many of our customers wait years between testing, which far exceeds the current yearly EPA advice limits. This report highlights the importance of regular monitoring of water quality for both private and public users, and we commend the EPA for doing so.’