The Dublin-based Economic and Social Research Institute believes not enough attention is paid to Irish drinking water quality and it’s therefore down the list on the political agenda.

Its report, published last week, revealed the percentage of people, by county, whose drinking water failed to meet at least one of the EU regulations in 2007 – the most recent data available.

In the worst example 52% of residents in Cork North drunk water below the expected European quality levels

More than 5% of people had their drinking water polluted with either manganese, iron, lead or aluminium.

The report also showed the number of people suffering from biological contamination, such as enterococci, colony, e-coli, clostridium and coliform is even larger.

A spokesman for the report said: “While some of the problems were adequately dealt with, many other cases of biological and chemical contamination linger.

“These results are alarming. The European Union has stipulated that drinking water quality be monitored, and so the EPA publishes a report every year.

“To date this has not captured the public imagination, it deserves much greater attention from the general public and from policymakers.”

Luke Walsh

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