Exempt Drinking Water Supplies

An exempted supply is an individual supply of less than 10 cubic metres a day on average or a supply that serves fewer than 50 persons and is not supplied as part of a commercial or public activity.

Generally, there are two main types of supply that fall into the category of exempted supplies;

  1. Private Wells serving domestic dwellings.
  2. Small group water schemes (generally serving less than approximately 15 houses) with no commercial activity.

Exempt supplies, such as household wells, are not covered by the Drinking Water Regulations and so there is no legal requirement to test them. However, the EPA recommends that these supplies are tested for E. coli at least once a year, to check for contamination. These results do not have to be reported to the local authority or the EPA; but should be used by supply owners to assess their own water quality.

If you own/are responsible for a private supply, you are responsible for making sure it is safe to drink. Drinking water should always be clean and safe to drink; as drinking contaminated water can make you sick. If a supply owner finds their supply is contaminated, they can find information on what to do next on the webpage www.protectyourwell.ie.

Further information in relation to Private water supplies and Exempt supplies can be found below and at www.epa.ie

Focus on Private Water Supplies 2018 (PDF)
EPA Drinking Water ADVICE NOTE - Exempted Drinking Water Supplies (PDF)