EU Commission urges IRELAND to ensure that water intended for human consumption is clean

The Commission is urging Ireland to take the necessary measures to ensure that water intended for human consumption is wholesome and clean and to take the necessary remedial action as soon as possible to restore the quality of water intended for human consumption.

Ireland has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Drinking Water Directive (Directive 98/83/EC) as regards Trihalomethane (THM) levels in drinking water supply zones and schemes, exposing almost 300,000 inhabitants to potentially health risks.

High THM levels have been linked to liver, kidneys and central nervous system diseases, bladder and colon cancer risks, as well as to effects on foetal growth, foetal viability and risks of foetal malformations.

Although some progress has been made, Ireland has not been complying with the rules since December 2003. Therefore, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion to Ireland, which now has four months to remedy the situation.

Should Ireland fail to take appropriate action, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Vivian Loonela

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