In 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found what it described as abundant evidence that a significant amount of drinking water supplied from rural water schemes was, "still bacteriologically unfit for human consumption".
The findings were contained in the Environmental Protection Agency's annual report.
Over 5,500 group water schemes throughout the country supply water to over 150,000 households. More than 40% of the schemes show evidence of contamination predominantly from human and animal waste.
Deirdre MacCarthy talks to Dr. Paddy Flanagan, EPA Chemist, and Bernard Keely of the National Federation of Group Water Schemes.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 November, 1999.