Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
568. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the acceptable level of lime in drinking water to be provided on the public mains; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5499/15]
Under the European Union (Drinking Water) Regulations 2014, a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas library, suppliers of drinking water are required to ensure that the water supplied is wholesome and clean. Water which is wholesome and clean is defined as water which is free from any micro-organisms and parasites and from any substances which in numbers or concentrations constitute a potential danger to human health and which meets the quality standards specified in the Schedule to the Regulations.
The quality of water provided is very much dependent on local geological conditions and the source of the water supply. Many public water supply schemes supply hard water. Normally this means the water comes from groundwater sources, but it can also come from surface waters. The substances associated with hard water, such as lime, calcium and magnesium, are not included as parameters in the quality standards specified in the above Regulations as they do not pose a threat to human health.