Approximately 11% of Irish people get their water from private water supplies. Grants are available under the Rural Water Programme for the carrying out of improvement works to a private water supply (this means a water supply providing water intended for human consumption and domestic purposes that serves only one house). The relevant Regulations are Housing (Private Water Supply Financial Assistance) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 192 of 2020).
The key features of the scheme are:
- The grant payable for rehabilitation works is 85% of approved costs subject to a maximum of 3,000 euro.
- The grant payable for the provision of a new well is 85% of approved costs subject to a maximum of 5,000 euro, where the housing authority agrees that this is the most appropriate solution.
- In recognising the role of the grant in improving water quality, the water quality treatment element (typically filtration and Ultra Violet treatment) qualifies for 100% funding up to a maximum of 1,000 euro. This can be claimed on its own or in addition to either the grant for rehabilitation works or the grant for a new well.
- The minimum grant threshold is 750 euro.
How do I apply?
The scheme will be administered by housing authorities on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heriatge, you should contact the rural water section in your local authority for application form and further information.
The scheme will be administered by housing authorities on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Sample documents containing the terms and conditions for this scheme can be found here:
The Department is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Notice explains how the Department, as the Data Controller, will process the personal data provided to it in respect of the management and administration of these schemes of financial assistance; how that information will be used, and what rights you may exercise in relation to your personal data.
Drinking water quality in private wells
Unlike public water supplies or group water scheme supplies, water services authorities do not test drinking water quality of private water supplies. Testing your well water is your responsibility and should be done regularly to make sure your drinking water quality is high. People with VTEC (a form of E.coli) are more than four times more likely than the general population to have consumed untreated water from private water supplies. Maintenance and servicing of wells is also very important for reducing the risk of contamination.
You can find more information on testing water quality or wells maintenance on the EPA website. If you have concerns about the quality of your private water supply contact your local authority immediately.
Drilling private wells
If you are considering boring your own well, it is important the well is constructed properly, sealed against pollution and disinfected. Guidelines on constructing a private water supply are available on the Institute of Geologists of Ireland website