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Rate of E.coli detection in Irish drinking water halved

The figures are taken from 2008 and 2009 and have been published today in the National Drinking Water report.

File photo
File photo
Image: Jim Mone/AP/Press Association Images

THE AMOUNT OF E.coli detected in Irish public drinking water has reduced by 50 per cent over two years, according to a new report.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published their National Drinking Water report for the years 2008 and 2009 and say the reduction follows a campaign targeted at tackling contamination.

E.coli is a harmful bacteria which can cause food poisoning amongst other symptoms. It can enter a water supply through human or animal waste.

In 2009 it was detected at least once in 27 out of 944 public water supplies which the EPA say is down from 39 in 2008.

However, the report finds that at the end of 2010, 264 public water supplies are still in need of remedial improvements to the quality of their water including parts of Cork, Dublin, and Galway. Although, this is down from 339 in 2008.

The EPA have welcomed the figures but have called for investment in ensuring water quality to be maintained.

Their director of environmental enforcement Dara Lynott said in a statement:

The EPA targeted a reduction in the detection of E.coli in drinking water in recent years and today we are seeing the success of this programme with a 50 per cent reduction in two years.

Despite this reduction investment needs to be maintained to bring detection levels in line with other EU countries.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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