The new regulations will seek “to protect human health by enhancing drinking water standards from source to tap and to ensure it is wholesome and clean”. The standards will come into effect this month.

The new drinking water regulations are directed towards water suppliers such as Uisce Éireann and group water schemes. Relevant authorities, including the Environmental Protection Agency and Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, will oversee the activities of these water suppliers.

The regulations come as part of an EU Directive that has been incorporated into Irish legislation. The regulations add to existing requirements to by laying down directions regarding the management of water intended for human consumption and access to water.

Minister Darragh O’Brien announced the regulations, saying: “Water is such a basic right and access to good quality drinking water is a key public service.

“These new regulations will add additional quality measures to continue to ensure that our drinking water remains wholesome and clean.

“Guided by an Expert Working Group of all relevant stakeholders providing professional advice, we have developed – and will now implement – regulations which will ensure we comply with EU standards and, crucially, provide high quality water supplies to the people of Ireland.”

Minister of State Malcolm Noonan joined Minister O’Brien in announcing the changes.

“Access to clean, safe water to drink is a basic need for everyone,” he said.