Drinking water: European Commission urges Ireland to ensure safe drinking water

The European Commission has decided to send a letter of formal notice to Ireland for failing to fulfil its obligations under the Drinking Water Directive (Council Directive 98/83/EC) and allowing exceedance of the parametric value for Trihalomethane (THMs).

The Directive aims at health protection against adverse effects of any contamination of water intended for human consumption by ensuring that it is wholesome and clean. Over a long period, the drinking water provided to over 500 000 people in Ireland, includes excessive amounts of Trihalomethane. This chemical, which is formed as a by-product predominantly when chlorine is used to disinfect and make water safe for drinking, poses a risk to health.

The Irish authorities have not taken appropriate actions to bring down the value of THMs and to notify consumers of the health implications as required. Ireland has two months to respond to the letter; otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

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