Northern Ireland Water Framework Directive Lake Quality Update statistics for 2020 have been published by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
This statistical report contains summary information on the status of lakes for the three River Basin Districts in Northern Ireland based on data collected up to the end of 2019.
Download the report.
The key points include:
- In 2020, only one of the 21 lake water bodies in Northern Ireland was classified as ‘good’ status and 20 lake water bodies were classified as less than ‘good’ status. This compares to five lakes at ‘good’ status and 16 at less than ‘good’ status in 2015 and 2018.
- This report is being published as a precursor to the publication of third cycle River Basin Management Plans for all water bodies. The draft plans are currently in preparation and final plans will be published next year, in accordance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
- This report only provides an update to the assessment of lake quality. The reasons for this are set out in the report. Classification of all surface water bodies and groundwater bodies will be updated in 2021.
Source – Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Verde Environmental Consultants are currently involved in a monthly lake monitoring program throughout Counties Clare and Wicklow, as part of the Water Framework Directive requirements of River Basin Management Plans. The monitoring works include sample collection at a total of 19 lakes in County Clare and six lakes in Wicklow.
Verde samplers obtain water quality samples and field readings from open water and shore locations at specified locations on the lakes using quality assured sampling methods to ensure the samples are representative of the water body being sampled.
Dedicated samples bottles are used for various analysis including physio-chemical, ions, metals, chlorophyll and phytoplankton and sent to various EPA and County Council laboratories for analysis.
Field measurements of temperature and dissolved oxygen profiling are undertaken at specified locations at certain times of year to examine potential thermal stratification over the depth of the lake.
Verde adhere to procedures of decontamination of boats and sampling equipment between lakes to prevent the potential for the spread of non-invasive species such as Zebra mussels and Crayfish plague.