EPA drinking water report shows improvements for Mayo

The quality of drinking water in Mayo has improved according to a report recently released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ). The report shows that water in Mayo achieved 100 per cent compliance in microbiological parameters which is the same as it was in 2010, and 99.3 per cent compliance with chemical parameters which is an increase in quality compared with 98.9 per cent in 2010.

‘The Provision and Quality of Drinking Water in Ireland, A Report for the Year 2011’ is based on results from 250,000 monitoring tests and shows that public water supplies serving more than 80 per cent of the Irish population have improved every year since the EPA created a remedial action list to tackle drinking water problems four years ago. There were 339 public water supplies on the EPA’s remedial action list when it was created four years ago, there are now 168. Remedial works are due for completion on a further 100 by the end of 2013, three of which are in Mayo. These include the Kilmaine PS which serves a population of 607; Kiltimagh, which serves a population of 1,239; and Lough Mask which serves a population of 28,856.

Commenting on the report, regional inspector Derval Devaney said: “It is great news for people in Mayo that the number of occurrences of E coli in public supplies is down by almost 90 per cent since 2005. This is as a result of better management, processes, monitoring, treatment, and disinfection by Mayo County Council. We want to let people in Mayo know that the next steps are to secure these gains by Mayo County Council which were achieved after they adopted a water safety plan which sets out the risks and any operational, maintenance, or infrastructural improvements required along the supply chain to manage the risks identified.”

Ms Devaney continued: “While there have been improvements in the quality of drinking water from private supplies it remains inferior to that from public supplies, and contaminated private well water is a growing cause for concern. This year, the HSE reported a doubling of the number of VTEC cases. VTEC is a harmful member of the E coli family and may cause severe illness. Bad weather is also a major challenge, particularly for vulnerable water sources. The EPA asks all those in Mayo who are owners of private wells and not on public supplies to check the water source for potential sources of pollution and to get their water tested. Additional information is available from Mayo County Council and on the EPA website.”

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