Clare Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has expressed his concern at a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which suggests that 30% of private wells in Ireland are contaminated by E.coli.
Senator Mulcahy said the fact that 50,000 of the estimated 170,000 private wells in Ireland may be contaminated requires the immediate attention of those who source their water privately.
The EPA is urging owners of private wells to consult the information on the treatment of private wells on www.epa.ie.
According to Senator Mulcahy: “This report by the EPA along with recent information from the HSE showing that Ireland has the highest rate of VTEC (Veritoxigenic E.Coli) in Europe demonstrates the importance of people who own private wells testing the quality of water they are currently receiving.”
“There is a greater risk of illness associated with private well supplies. You may have been using your well for years and have had no health problems as you may have built up immunity to the contamination. However, friends, family and children may become ill as a result of consuming your well water People treated for VTEC are four times more likely to have consumed untreated water from private wells. However, by taking simple steps to protect your well this disease is preventable,” stated Senator Mulcahy.
The EPA says the most common problem associated with private wells is poor well construction. The Agency says it is very important that the well is drilled properly, grouted and lined to make sure that polluting matters cannot get into the well from the ground surface or from shallow groundwater.
Find out more about the risks to your well and how to protect your drinking water quality by visiting www.epa.ie.