Is Tap Water Safe to Drink in Ireland?

After years of under funding, the Irish water supply continues to be dogged by concerns about its purity and safeness.

With the European Commission now taking the Irish government to court over past water treatment indiscretions, Irish Water still has a long way to go before tap water all over the country comes up to European standards.

A treatment plan, agreed in late-2015, set a target of 2021 for all necessary upgrades to be completed.

But just last month it was reported that an Environmental Protection Agency assessment had found that over a third of Irish councils run below average environmental inspections, including on water services.

And Ireland is still disproportionately affected by boil water notices; in September last year 47,000 people in Co. Mayo were hit with just such a warning, the water provided to them by Irish Water being unsafe to drink straight from the tap.

What Chemicals Are in the Water We Drink?

There are many chemicals in water, most are harmless and just part of its natural constitution. However, some unwanted chemicals, when present in water, can have a wholly detrimental effect on our health.

Major cause for concern are Trihalomethanes (THMs). The government has reported to the European Commission that the water supplies of over 400,000 people are affected by high levels of THMs.

Formed when water is treated with chlorine, THMs over a certain level are considered a health risk.

Prolonged exposure to THMs has been linked to the development of some cancers including colon and bladder; to the experience of reproductive difficulties, including miscarriage, birth defects, and infertility; and can also adversely affect the heart, liver, kidney, and central nervous system.

However, Irish Water has declined requests from Friends of the Irish Environment to warn people who are affected by the dangerous levels of THMs in their water supply.

What Can I Do About My Water Supply?

If you are concerned about potentially dangerous chemical levels in your water supply you have several options.

Buying bottled water, as well as being inconvenient and expensive, has a devastating environmental impact. Pollution of the world’s seas by plastic bottles, which are woefully under-recycled, has reached an overwhelming level.

There are similar problems when using water filtration systems, these disposable solutions also come in plastic form and will soon find themselves buried in landfill sites.

While these solutions may purify your drinking water, THMs are also absorbed by the body through steam, in the shower, and when washing.

One effective solution that could reduce your water bills and ensure you have clean and safe drinking water is to sink your own private well.

By takes water from your own ground-source well, you will not have to pay rates to Irish Water. Though you will incur costs for maintenance and purification, you control this and it is easy to supply yourself with clean water at a low cost.

Professional advice is of the utmost importance when creating your own water source, and here at TJ Cross & Co we have over 50 years of drilling experience. Recent upsurge in demand for the drilling of private boreholes has led us to acquire specially adapted equipment to make access to domestic properties easy.

It’s time you gave some thought to the purity of the water that comes from your tap.