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Quality of some drinking water 'unsatisfactory'
[Posted: Thu 09/01/2003 www.irishhealth.com]
By Deborah Condon
The quality of drinking water supplied by group water schemes is unsatisfactory, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said. These schemes currently supply water to over 145,000 rural households throughout the country.
According to the EPA's annual report (1999 - 2001) on the quality of drinking water, almost 11% of tests carried out on group water schemes were not acceptable.
The most important indicator of drinking water quality is the presence or absence of faecal contamination, from human or animal waste. While there was a noticeable decrease in the numbers of samples containing faecal contamination in both public water supplies and group water schemes, group schemes were still found to be 'lagging far behind that of public water supplies'.
"The presence of faecal contamination in drinking water is unacceptable and both public and private suppliers of drinking water in Ireland need to take the necessary steps to eradicate this problem as soon as possible", the EPA said.
Overall the quality of drinking water from public water supplies was satisfactory, with 96% of all tests carried out found to be acceptable.
In 2001, 146,000 individual tests on 904 public water supplies 1,536 group water schemes were carried out.
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