The EPA report on the quality of our private drinking water this week shows once again that Government must act now on the proper funding of Group Water Schemes and those who operate private wells.
The report finds that almost 5% of the private water supply that would include Group Water Schemes and private wells are contaminated and that there is a lack of monitoring for e-coli and also that local authorities will have to step in to address that situation. The amount of information that we are getting from those with private wells is also hit and miss as it is voluntary infornation which is also a worry. The facts are that the subvention to Group Water Schemes has been cut in recent years and that situation must be reversed and Group Water Schemes must recieve proper capital funding plus an increase in subvention.
In the current controversy about water we have a debate going on whereby people on public schemes can waste all the water that they like while those on Group Schemes are metered have been effecient in their use of water, and have to pay for their supply. People are running these schemes on a voluntary basis and they can see how unfair the system is and the Government need to step in and address this situation. Unless the Group Water Schemes are properly funded there will be a tsunami of problems coming down the line. Group Water Schemes have been the poor relation in the whole debate about water and this report highlights once again that it is not only the public systen that needs proper funding , Those in Group Water Schemes must not be left behind.
This morning I spoke with Darragh Page of the EPA who agrees that the private water supply needs to be properly funded and that far better monitoring of the whole system needs to be introduced in conjunction with local authorities and the EPA and I will be raising the situation with regard to Group Water Schemes and those with private wells in the Dail over the coming weeks.