The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the supervisory authority for public water supplies in Ireland. Irish Water is responsible for monitoring public water supplies while local authorities are responsible for monitoring water provided by other suppliers. The roles of the water supplier, the EPA and the Health Services Executive (HSE) in relation to measuring lead levels in public drinking water supplies are set out in the European Union (Drinking Water) Regulations 2014 (as amended), a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas library.
The EPA's Drinking Water Reports for Public Supplies and Private Water Supplies are available on the EPA website, including information on compliance with lead parameters.
The Government published a National Strategy to Reduce Exposure to Lead in Drinking Water in June 2015. In response to the recommendations of this strategy, Irish Water prepared a detailed Lead in Drinking Water Mitigation Plan to identify measures to mitigate the risks to human health posed by the presence of lead in drinking water. Irish Water has indicated that it will remove all lead in public supply pipes over the next ten years. They have also put in place an interim water treatment programme to protect consumers from lead exposure while this replacement programme is implemented.
Irish Water is responsible for the service pipe up to the property boundary; however, most lead pipes are within the property boundary and are the responsibility of the property owner. My Department has introduced a grant scheme to assist owners of premises connected to a domestic water supply with the costs of replacing lead piping or related fittings located within the internal distribution system of the premises, as defined in the Water Services Act 2007. The grant is administered by local authorities and information on how to apply for this grant is available on my Department’s website at the following link: www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/leaflet_-_grant_to_replace_lead_pipes_and_fittings.pdf.