WATER FOR ALMOST a million people is at risk of contamination according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
It’s recommending priority improvements on 121 water supplies, which provide water to 940,000 people.
The supplies are failing to meet the microbial and the chemical standards required for safe drinking water.
Meanwhile, over 20,000 people – on 20 public water supplies – are affected by boil notices.
EPA says improvements to disinfection systems, better management of water treatment and more investment in robust and resilient infrastructure is required.
The removal of lead pipes in the network will be a priority area for investment because of a more stringent lead standard for drinking water since January 2014.
Mr. Gerard O’Leary, Director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement said,
Overall, the compliance rate in public supplies is good but this masks the specific and serious problems occurring in some supplies and the significant risk of future problems.
“Investment is needed to improve the supplies where people cannot use their water and to reduce the risk of other supplies failing to meet the required quality standards in the future.”
According to the EPA’s Drinking Water Report for 2013 released today – over 99% of supplies meet standards.
The report also shows that water quality in the private water supply sector lags significantly behind the quality in the public network.