Drinking Water

The quality of drinking water is a powerful environmental determinant of health. Water is essential to life and a person's survival depends on the availability of clean and wholesome drinking water. Provision and management of safe and secure drinking water not only supports public health and well-being but promotes socio-economic development.

The HSE assists in the protection of the health of the public by advocating safe drinking water and participating in a timely response to drinking water events when they occur.

Safe, quality drinking water is essential for our health. Irish Water and Local Authorities are responsible for public water supplies.

 The EU (Drinking Water) Regulations 2014 set out standards for drinking water quality and safety.  If there is a failure to meet these standards or there is an incident which may present a risk to human health, Irish Water / the local authority must consult with the HSE to agree on any action to be taken to protect the health of consumers.

Per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water:

Water Systems in Hotels

Advice on managing water systems in hotels and other Accommodation Sites during and after prolonged shutdown or partial shutdown (PDF, size 528 KB, 2 pages)

Guidance for Food Businesses

Information for food businesses to ensure that all the necessary measures are taken to ensure the safety of the water supply (PDF, size 487 KB, 2 pages)

Information on the Operation of Commercial Coffee Machines and Dishwashers during Boil Water Notices (PDF, size 291 KB, 2 pages)

Bathing Water

Under the Bathing Water Quality Regulations, 2008 a Local Authority must monitor ‘identified’ bathing areas in its area during the bathing season (1st June to 15th September).   Identified bathing areas means those bathing areas listed in the legislation.  

The Local Authority must promptly notify the EPA and the HSE Environmental Health Service of any situation that has, or could reasonably be expected to have, an adverse impact on bathing water quality and on the health of bathers.

The HSE has produced a guidance document entitled ‘Bathing Water and Health. A Health Service Executive guide for responding to incidents of microbiological pollution and/or other adverse circumstances in relation to both saline and freshwater bathing’.

This guidance document is used by the HSE to provide a standardised basis for responses to any incidents of microbiological pollution and/or other adverse circumstances that may be received from Local Authorities.                                     

Guidance for responding to incidents of microbiological pollution and other adverse circumstances in relation to both saline and fresh bathing water (PDF, size 2.46 KB, 41 pages)  

You will find information on the Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 

Private Well Water

You will find information on Private Well Water here:  /eng/health/hl/water/drinkingwater/well_water.html