Nine private water supplies in Kerry were not monitored for E. coli

Nine private water supplies in Kerry were not monitored for E. coli in 2018 according to a report issued today by the EPA.

E. coli is a dangerous bacteria which can cause kidney failure.

The Environmental Protection Agency says the quality of drinking water in private water supplies is poorer than that which is publicly supplied.

The nine water supplies in Kerry that were not tested for E.coli in 2018 all fall into the category of small private supplies which serve a commercial or public activity such as hotels, pubs, restaurants, creches and national schools.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s report, this means 10 per cent of a total of 90 small private supplies in Kerry in 2018 were not tested for the dangerous bacteria.

The owners of such supplies, which are mostly sourced from wells, are responsible for water quality.

The EPA says there’s no funding mechanism in place for small private supplies and warns that premises in these schemes, such as schools, nursing homes and hotels, have the potential to cause a serious public health risk if contaminated.

Overall, in 2018, 15,945 people in Kerry used water from private schemes – 9,599 used public group schemes where water distribution is managed by local communities while Irish Water is in charge of water abstraction and treatment; 1,775 depended on private group schemes while 4,571 availed of small private supplies.

The EPA says in 2018 seven boil notices affecting 312 people were issued in Kerry while five audits of private supplies were carried out.