EPA warns that private well water source needs to be checked

A report on water quality from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals “mixed results” for Longford.

A report on water quality from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reveals “mixed results” for Longford.

The report which was published just last week pointed to the fact that water in the county achieved 100% compliance with “microbiological parameters”, an increase of 98.7% from 2010. “Longford water achieved 96.8% compliance with chemical parameters which is a decrease in quality compared with 98.9% in 2010; contamination of public supplies with the potentially dangerous E.coli bacteria is down almost 90% nationwide since 2005 and private wells and bad weather are a growing cause for concern,” the report stated.

According to other details that emerged, the quality of drinking water in Longford improved in one category but deteriorated slightly in another. “The report shows that water in Longford achieved 100% compliance in microbiological parameters which is an increase in quality from 98.7% in 2010, and 96.8% compliance with chemical parameters which is a decrease in quality compared with 98.9% in 2010.”

The report also points to the fact that there were 339 public water supplies on the EPA’s Remedial Action List when it was created four years ago, whereas now there are 168. Remedial works are due for completion on another 100 by the end of 2013 and one of those happens to be in Co Longford.

“It is great news for people in Longford that the number of occurrences of E. coli in public supplies nationally is down by almost 90% since 2005,” Regional Inspector, Ruth Barrington explained, adding that the outcome was down to “better management, processes, monitoring, treatment and disinfection by Longford County Council”.

“We want to let people in Longford know, that the next steps, are to secure these gains by Longford 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. 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. The EPA asks all those in Longford 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.”