Good news for 700 people in Co. Cavan as water supplies removed from ‘at risk’ list

14 February 2023

Uisce Éireann’s improved processes for testing and monitoring drinking water supplies has played a key role in removing risks to drinking water quality and protecting public health in Co. Cavan.

As a result of ongoing investment by Uisce Éireann in the county’s water infrastructure, both the Shercock and Dowra Public Water Supplies, which serve a population of approximately 700 people, have been removed from the EPA’s list of vulnerable water supplies. This targeted investment has led to significant improvements in the security and quality of local drinking water that will benefit local homes and businesses now and for many years to come. 

The latest Remedial Action List, updated recently by the EPA, identifies a number of vulnerable supplies nationwide which require further upgrades in order to ensure full compliance with drinking water standards now and into the future. 

For the supplies that remain on the list, a detailed plan of action is being implemented by Uisce Éireann to address any risks to water quality as quickly as possible. The presence of a supply on the Remedial Action List does not mean the water is unsafe to drink. Uisce Éireann’s enhanced assessment of their performance (overseen by the EPA) has identified additional measures which need to be put in place to ensure the safety and security of these supplies into the future.

Peter Gallagher, Uisce Éireann’s Water Operations Lead for Cavan said: “Uisce Éireann is committed to ensuring that all our customers have safe, clean drinking water and we are pleased to confirm that the Shercock and Dowra Public Water Supplies supply have now been removed from the Remedial Action List. This means that local customers can rest assured that they have a safe, secure drinking water supply now and into the future.

Nationally, we have put in place a robust testing and monitoring regime to ensure that any existing risks can be found and remedied. Ireland has over 720 water treatment plants, producing 1.7 billion litres of drinking water every day. The vast majority of this water – 99.7% - is fully compliant with drinking water standards and is safe to drink. 

We know that some of our water treatment plants require additional investment, and we are working hard to bring all these plants fully up to modern standards. This can be a challenge in some areas due to the age of the infrastructure and decades of under-investment. However, by implementing world-class standard for testing and monitoring, as well as day-to-day operational oversight, we are making excellent progress and continuing to improve overall drinking water standards for all our customers nationwide.

As a single national water services authority Uisce Éireann has been able to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of Ireland’s drinking water treatment plants and focus investment where the risk to our customers is highest. Nationally Uisce Éireann plans to invest €5.3 billion in drinking water and wastewater quality and capacity and new infrastructure between 2020 and 2024. Significant improvements in water quality are being achieved year on year by this approach right across the country.