The funding pledge forms part of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Rural Water Programme 2009, announced on February 23rd.

A majority of the funding (Euro 65.7m) will be devoted to improving the water quality of group schemes with private sources, including Euro 40.2m spent on new water treatment facilities.

Minister for the environment Michael Kitt warned that some groups were failing in their obligation to consumers.

He said: “A handful of groups are failing to engage and are continuing to provide their members with poor quality water.”

Mr Kitt added that the well-balanced package would contribute significantly to achieving the quality of water for rural consumers.

“We are approaching realisation of that goal so let us finish the job as quickly as we can,” he said.

There are up to 5,500 group schemes throughout the country providing drinking water to around 170,000 households, farms and local businesses.

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