There are 38 towns and villages across the State discharging raw sewage into the environment, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency also notes that there are 28 large towns and cities discharging inadequately treated sewage into the environment.

Foxford, Tubbercurry, Collooney and Monksland are among the larger urban areas that are listed in the report as failing to deal with waste water effectively and where waste discharges entering our waters don't meet pollution and health standards.

Untreated sewage is still being pumped into our seas and waterways from 38 towns and villages around the country. Killala, Newport, Roundstone, Carraroe, Spiddal and Ahascaragh are among the locations cited in this list.

The EPA says years of under-investment in the system is one of the main causes.

Despite a "legacy of under- investment" and the State facing legal action from the European Commission for failing to meet mandatory standards, the EPA says improvements are not happening at a fast enough pace.

EPA spokesperson Darragh Page says Irish Water is not meeting its own targets for dealing with the issue.