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Water Pollution

There is a lot in the news recently on water pollution as water in hundreds of rivers, lakes, estuaries, groundwater bodies and along our coasts is failing to reach acceptable quality standards.

Of the sources of pollution which are agriculture, domestic wastewater, forestry and extractive industry, the main causes of pollution are nutrient losses from agriculture and domestic wastewater discharges, which can cause excessive growth of water based plants.

On the agricultural side, the problem comes from nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous as well as sediment running off the land and from farmyards into streams and rivers.

When it comes to domestic wastewater, the problem lies with urban wastewater discharges, private wastewater discharges including septic tanks and a range of other sources including urban waste water misconnections.

The findings come from a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency which  assessed surface water quality between 2010 and 2015.

Some of the recent headlines:

Pollution will continue until we call people to account for destroying our most valuable asset.

Environmental groups urge robust approach on water pollution

Ireland failing to meet own water quality target – EPA

Avoca and Tolka among Ireland’s six most polluted rivers

Park pond pollution

Achill beach reopens after water-pollution issue

Also in our tap water supply, plastic fibres have been found through research conducted by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, a non-profit news media outlet based in the US. Experts at Orb Media collected tap water samples from more than a dozen countries for the study that has raised fears that human health may be at risk.

Irish Water said it supports a proposed legislative ban on products containing plastic microbeads in Ireland.
“Conventional wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to filter out or remove microbead/microplastics so Irish Water’s preferred approach is to control microbead/microplastic pollution at source,” it stated.

Microbeads are found in some cosmetics, body care products, toothpaste, scouring agents and detergents.

“Irish Water would welcome any initiative in principle that would reduce contamination in wastewater,” the water utility company added.
The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government launched a six-week public consultation on a proposal to ban microbeads in February.

Verde has built a team of water resource assessment specialists who are focused on delivering quality hydrogeological services to our clients such as groundwater abstraction feasibility assessments, authorisation of discharges to groundwater technical assessments and water quality/level monitoring. The development of sustainable groundwater resources is a key element in helping our clients to reduce costs associated with the use of water.

Photo by Pok Rie: