Figures from the Central Statistics Office from 2015 show that the average household uses 252 litres of water per day (when high outlier values are excluded). This household water usage includes water for drinking and cooking, washing and use in the garden. It is very important that we conserve our water and don’t waste it, during extended periods of dry weather groundwater supplies drop and the need to conserve water is heightened. Simple things such as having a shower instead of a bath, turning off the tap while brushing our teeth, fully loading washing machines and dishwashers and collecting rainwater for use in the garden can all help conserve water.
There are specific standards that water must meet for it to be safe to consume. These standards are laid out in European Union regulations and in Ireland our water quality is monitored by Irish Water. Irish Water ensures our water is not contaminated by exposure to different things like weather conditions, farming or commercial runoff. Water supplies are treated to ensure they reach the appropriate standards, this process starts by screening the water to remove large particles such as sticks and stones, a coagulating agent is then added to clump particles together and the pH is adjusted. The water then reaches a settlement tank where the large clumps settle to the bottom of the tank, the water is then filtered by passing it through sand to remove any small particles. The water is then disinfected by adding chlorine to the water, the treated water is then stored in a reservoir until it is pumped to homes for use.