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River Water Quality Is Getting...

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River Water Quality Is Getting Worse, EPA Warns

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

7:20 AM - 10 Dec 2019



River water quality in Ireland is getting worse, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned.

A new study from the EPA shows only 53% of the country's surface water bodies are of acceptable quality.

The breaks down to 92% of groundwater bodies, 80% of coastal waters, 53% of rivers, 50% of lakes and 38% of estuaries.

River waters are being highlighted as a particular concern, with the quality having dropped by 5.5% since the last assessment four years ago.

The report also found that the number of pristine rivers - described as the 'best of the best' - around the country decreased by more than 95% in the past three decades, dropping from over 500 to just 20.

Meanwhile, the number of 'seriously polluted' river water bodies has risen from six to nine - ending what the EPA says was "many years of an improving trend".

EPA Water Programme Manager, Mary Gurrie, says the poor water quality is down to a number of factors.

She explained: "The two largest [factors] are agriculture and wastewater from our towns and villages, and also to some extent from domestic wastewater systems like septic tanks.

"There are others, such as forestry, peat extraction and industry... and also physical changes to water bodies, such as land drainage and putting in things like weirs and barriers to fish migration."

 

Main image: File photo. Picture by: John Kroetch/Zuma Press/PA Images


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