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Private wells

Introduction

Approximately 11% of Irish people get their water from private wells. Grants are available under the Rural Water Programme for the provision of or improvements to an individual water supply in a house.

A grant of up to 75% of the cost, subject to a maximum grant of €2,031.58, is available, subject to certain conditions. These are:

  • There cannot be an alternative group or public supply available
  • The house must be more than seven years old and not connected to either a public supply or group scheme
  • Only one grant per house will be allowed in any seven year period
  • The proposed work must cost more than €635

Please contact your local authority for more information on this grant and the full qualifying conditions.

Drinking water quality in private wells

Unlike public water supplies or group water scheme supplies, water services authorities do not test drinking water quality of private wells. Testing your well water is your respsonsibility and should be done regularly to make sure your drinking water quality is high. People with VTEC (a form of E.coli) are more than four times more likely than the general population to have consumed untreated private well water. Maintenance and servicing of wells is also very important for reducing the risk of contamination.

You can find more information on testing water quality or maintaining private wells on the EPA website. If you have concerns about the quality of your private water supply contact your local authority immediately.

Drilling private wells

If you are considering boring your own well, it is important the well is constructed properly, sealed against pollution and disinfected. Guidelines on constructing a private well visit are available on the Institute of Geologists of Ireland website.