13 areas throughout the country will continue to discharge raw sewage into the environment past 2021 due to delays at Irish Water.
Raw sewage equal to the amount produced by 77,000 people -- roughly the population of Galway City -- ends up flowing into rivers, lakes and the sea without being treated every day.
That's according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which has criticised the utility for taking too long to improve deficient treatment infrastructure.
The EPA says treatment at 120 urban areas needs to be improved in order to prevent water pollution and keep bathing waters safe.
Irish Water's Sean Laffey says they are working hard to solve the problem.
"Raw sewerage in this day and age in a first world country -- we shouldn't be discharging [it] back into the environment. It is a priority for Irish Water. We'tre workign very very hard to make sure those discharges are eliminated," he said.