Water Quality

  • My mains water is white and cloudy - is it ok to drink?

    White discolouration in water can be caused by trapped air and it is completely harmless. Air can occur in your water supply following repair work on the distribution network, by a pocket of air becoming trapped in the internal domestic pipe work during interruptions to your water supply.

    Aerated water has a cloudy or milky white appearance. To confirm the cloudiness is caused by trapped air, fill a glass of water from the cold tap at the kitchen sink and watch to see if it clears from the bottom of the glass upwards. It can take up to 10 minutes to clear. Air trapped in the mains pipe should clear within 2 to 3 hours after works are completed.


  • Is Chlorine added to the water supply?

    Sodium hypochlorite is used to disinfect the water supply and treatment systems. Drinking water treated with hypochlorite does not pose a risk to health. There can be variations in the amount present in the water supply for various reasons such as proximity to a treatment centre, temperature and rainfall levels.


  • Is Fluoride added to the water supply?

    In the 1960's, the Irish Government made the decision to fluoridate water supplies, as a public health measure, to prevent and reduce dental decay. Fluoridation began in Ireland in 1964 as a result of the passing of The Health (Fluoridation of Water) Act 1960. Local Authorities must ensure that the level of fluoride in the water is within the range of 0.6 to 0.8mg/l.


  • How do I access Drinking Water Monitoring Results?

    Galway City Council is responsible for maintaining the public mains systems and ensuring the quality of the water they distribute in Galway city.

    The quality of Drinking Water is covered by The European Communities (Drinking Water) Regulations, 2000 (S.I. 439 of 2000)

    The main requirements are to monitor the drinking water in the distribution system for parameters listed in the regulations at frequencies that are dependent on the volume of water treated.

    The City Council utilise the services of the Public Analysts Lab, the Microbiological Lab, UCHG, and other accredited labs where necessary, to independently analyse water samples submitted by the City Council under Drinking Water Regulations.

    If a water supply constitutes a danger to human health the City Council must make sure that the water supply is restricted and that the public are made aware of the dangers as soon as possible.

    Each year the Drinking Water Monitor results are published.


  • Report Water Pollution

    Water can become polluted in many different ways. Sources of water pollution can be divided into two categories:

    Natural Pollution

    As rain falls it absorbs dirt, dust and grease from the air.

    As it flows over the ground the water collects mud, clay and decayed plant matter and also bacteria derived from soil and vegetation.

    In the ground, water dissolves soluble salts from the rocks whilst water containing carbon dioxide can dissolve carbonate rocks to form bicarbonates.

    Man-Made Pollution

    In the absence of adequate controls many human activities have the potential to cause
    pollution of water.

    • Untreated sewage introduces putrefying organic matter and, in particular, bacteria and pathogenic microorganisms.
    • Farming often causes soil manure and organic debris to be washes into streams, rivers and lakes.
    • Mining may contribute harmful contamination and fine suspended matter to watercourses.
    • Chemical manufacture may produce effluents containing toxic substances, which, if unregulated, can cause taste and odour and kill off the natural life in the rivers.

    Report Water Pollution.

    Alternatively you can contact the Environment Section directly at customerservice@galwaycity.ie or 091 536595



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