Drinking water from rural schemes is not fit for human consumption according to an environmental report.

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. 

Dr. Paddy Flanagan, EPA Chemist, and Bernard Keely of the National Federation of Group Water Schemes outline the issues. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 November 1999. The reporter is Deirdre McCarthy