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Displaying items by tag: Irish Water

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) investigated a serious fish kill incident that occurred on 3 September 2021 at the Glore River in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

IFI’s investigation led to the instigation of legal proceedings against Uisce Éireann and court procedures concluded on Thursday 4 January.

Uisce Éireann, formerly Irish Water, has accepted liability for the fish kill, resulting from a chemical spill at the Kiltimagh Water Treatment Plant.

A senior fisheries environmental Officer has inspected the treatment plant on several occasions since the fish kill.

Following an onsite meeting on 8 October 2022, a number of recommendations were made to Uisce Éireann to reduce the risk of future spills at the Kiltimagh Water Treatment Plant.

Uisce Éireann were fully supportive and these measures have now been implemented.

IFI, the State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats, says it will continue to inspect the plant to ensure that all recommendations have been followed.

Further to these preventative measures, Uisce Éireann has paid costs and a financial contribution of €15,000 to go towards research for habitat enhancement.

This will be used to identify the potential for a habitat restoration project in the upper Glore River and some of its tributaries.

This project will include a detailed survey of the Glore and possibly some adjacent sub-catchments, which will provide an analysis of current river and riparian habitat quality.

Where deficiencies are identified, appropriate amelioration works will be proposed to aid in the recovery of salmon stocks in the Glore River area.

Published in Angling

A treatment plant that supplies drinking water to nearly half of Dublin’s population has been linked with significant environmental damage along its stretch of the River Liffey.

But due to a quirk in Ireland’s planning rules, the only agency with oversight of the Uisce Éireann (formerly Irish Water) facility at Ballymore Eustace is Kildare County Council.

As The Journal’s Noteworthy investigation into the matter reveals, the local authority has been accused of “turning a blind eye” to discharges from the plant, which have increased since the 1980s as the demand for water in the city has grown nearly four-fold.

Chemicals released from the plant settle on the river bed upstream of the Co Kildare village as the Liffey’s flow in these upper reaches is too weak to dilute them, says Tommy Deegan of the Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association.

A spokesperson for Uisce Éireann says “optimised” treatment processes at the plant result in discharges that are “naturally low in nutrients and organic carbon”, and that it “is not aware of any impacts to aquatic life as a result of this process”.

However, hight levels of aluminium have been detected in recent years in these waters, which have recorded “poor numbers” of brown trout and salmon compared to further downstream.

Moreover, the plant was found to have been noncompliant on a number of occasions in 2023, as Noteworthy reports — while Uisce Éireann was ordered to pay some €10,000 in fines and costs over a 2022 pollution incident in the area that was successfully prosecuted by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) last year.

The Journal has much more on the story HERE.

Published in River Liffey

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has welcomed the outcome of a case it brought against Uisce Éireann involving sewage pollution of the Cavan town river.

A fine of €2,000, plus costs and expenses of €3,197, were imposed at a hearing on the matter at Cavan District Court on Friday 1 December.

It comes after IFI had previously secured prosecution in October against the State water utility for pollution of the Ballinagh River in Co Cavan which killed 160 fish.

The court heard that in the wake of ongoing issues at the Uisce Éireann wastewater treatment plant at Ballinagh, senior IFI fisheries environmental officer Ailish Keane had taken samples for analysis following the pollution event in Cavan town on 3 February this year.

These test samples, taken downstream from the plant, showed high levels of pollutants, with large amounts of sewage fungus — bacteria, fungus and algae that reduce oxygen levels — visible on the bed of the river.

Commenting on the verdict, Dr Milton Matthews, director of IFI’s North-Western River Basin District said: “We welcome the outcome in this case. The presence of sewage fungus in the river is indicative of chronic organic pollution of the Cavan town river at this location, rather than an isolated incident — with significant impact on fish, invertebrates and all aquatic life in the river.

“There were significant breaches of the licence emission limits for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) — oxygen required to break down organic matter in the water — and high ammonia levels.

“Sample results taken at the location indicated that ammonia levels were over 115 times higher than permitted discharge limits, and eight times higher than permissible for BOD limits as stipulated for this treatment plant.”

The conviction was secured under Section 171 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 — legislation regarding protection of fishing waters from harmful pollutants.

Members of the public are encouraged to report instances of water pollution, illegal fishing, habitat destruction or fish kills to IFI’s confidential number at 0818 34 74 24.

Published in Angling

An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme and Uisce Éireann have launched their Think Before You Flush campaign for 2023, reminding people to the mindful of what we should and should’t put down our toilets.

In Cork city last week, as the Cork Independent reports, Lord Mayor Deirdre Forde signed the Think Before You Flush pledge — which you can also sign yourself at thinkbeforeyouflush.org — supporting the annual campaign which focuses on understanding the impact of flushing sewage-related waste and how to dispose of such waste properly.

Margaret Attridge of Uisce Éireann added: “Every day thousands of unsuitable items are flushed down toilets across Ireland instead of being put in the bin.”

Flushing unsuitable items such as baby wipes or cotton buds can result in blockages or even in such waste littering Ireland’s coastal beaches and inland waterways.

This waste is the third largest category of beach litter and can pose a danger to marine wildlife, the campaign says.

The Cork Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

The “do not consume” notice on public water affecting over 5,000 households in south Connemara has been lifted with immediate effect by Irish Water.

The agency says water is safe to drink for the “majority” living in An Spidéal and Na Forbacha, but those living in the network served by the Ros-a-Mhíl reservoir have been issued with a “boil water” notice.

This is to protect public health until additional remedial works are complete, Irish Water says.

The “do not consume” notice in place since September was issued due to reported high levels of manganese in the public water supply, which involved extensive flushing of the system to remove.

Businesses and some residents have been critical of the lack of communication over the issue by Irish Water. Tankered water, which then had to be boiled, was made available at a number of collection points.

Irish Water’s drinking water compliance specialist Dr Pat O’Sullivan acknowledged the impact the “do not consume” notice had on the 5,675 customers supplied by An Spidéal’s public water supply and thanked them for their patience while Irish Water and Galway County Council worked to have it lifted.

“ We would like to thank all the residents and businesses who were affected by this notice for their patience and cooperation while it was in place to protect public health,”Dr O’Sullivan said.

“We would also like to acknowledge and thank our colleagues in Galway County Council who worked tirelessly to address what was a challenging and complex issue. This notice has now been lifted, in consultation with the Health Service Executive and Environmental Protection Agency, following an extensive sampling and testing process to ensure that the water is safe to drink,” Dr O’Sullivan added.

He explained that the Boil Water Notice for those served by the Ros-a-Mhíl reservoir has been put in place due to the low levels of chlorine and detections of coliform bacteria in this part of the supply network. Works are ongoing to address this issue, he said.

The area affected includes approximately 250 customers in Ros-a-Mhíl.

A map of the area is available to view on the supply and service section of water.ie. A “boil water” notice will also be hand-delivered to the properties affected, Irish Water said.

It said experts from Irish Water and Galway County Council are assessing the situation with a view to having the notice lifted as quickly as possible.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will be contacted directly about this notice, it says.

Water must be boiled for:

  • Drinking
  • Drinks made with water
  • Preparation of salads and similar foods, which are not cooked prior to eating
  • Brushing of teeth
  • Making of ice - discard ice cubes in fridges and freezers and filtered water in fridges. Make ice from cooled boiled water

Irish Water says that anyone who has concerns can contact our customer care team on 1800 278 278 or log onto the water supply and service section of water.ie for information.

A property’s eircode can also be entered on the water quality section of water.ie to check if it is included.

Published in Island News

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says as much as 500 million litres of potentially untreated wastewater is being released into Ireland’s rivers and coastal waters every day.

As the Irish Independent reports, the agency warns that it will take decades, and billions of euro, to correct the problem — but as yet Irish Water has “no clear action plan or time frame” for remedial works at many of what the EPA identifies as priority areas.

As of the middle of 2022, as many as 32 small towns and villages were discharging raw sewage as they have no wastewater treatment infrastructure.

Overall, the EPA claims that 49% of Ireland’s sewage — far above the EU average of 10% — is “still not treated to the standards set to protect the environment”, according to the agency’s programme manager Noel Byrne.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Environment

TechWorks Marine plans to deploy four trawl-resistant bottom mounted acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP) frames in Castlemaine and Valentia off the coast of Co Kerry from this Monday 7 February.

Weather permitting, the Ocean Navigator (callsign EI018) will deploy the four trawl-resistant, bottom-mounted ADCPs frames — each of around one square metre in area — on the seabed for a minimum of one month and a maximum of two months, between this week and Monday 21 February.

They will be used to carry out water quality sampling surveys as well as vessel-mounted ADCP surveys at the same time as the deployments and these are tide and weather dependent and may cause a slight delay in the recovery of the seabed frames.

The ADCPs will be measuring currents through the water column at each location over the course of their month-long deployment. This data will be used to validate a hydrodynamic model being developed of the area for Irish Water.

There will be no surface marker during the extent of deployment so vessel traffic will not need to avoid the area but should be aware of its presence. Throughout operations, the Ocean Navigator will be displaying appropriate lights and shapes.

Details of the exact locations of the ADCP frames and other information for mariners are included in Marine Notice No 08 of 2022, which can be downloaded below.

Published in News Update

Irish Water has admitted multiple counts over a pollution event that threatened vulnerable freshwater pearl mussels in a Co Cork river, as The Irish Times reports.

The water utility pleaded guilty to eight counts of breaching is licence terms in connection with highly elevated levels of ammonia and orthophosphate in run-off from a treatment plant in Boherbue, in the northwest of the county.

The case was brought by the Environmental Protection Agency, who gave evidence to the court on the status of the rare mussels in the protected conservation area of the Brogeen River.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

A court has heard that Malahide Marina was flooded with enough sewage to fill more than two Olympic-size swimming pools in a pollution incident last year, as TheJournal.ie reports.

Irish Water pleaded guilty to offences under the Waste Water Discharge (Authorisation) Regulations 2007 following the malfunction of a treatment plant in the north Co Dublin town on 28 April 2018.

The company was fined €1,500 and ordered to pay €850 for expenses and €5,000 towards legal costs.

Brendan Kissane, inspector for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which brought the case, told the court that the incident occurred after one of the plant’s three pumps had been removed, and the other two failed four days later on a day when the facility was not staffed full-time.

This resulted in raw sewage overflowing from tanks in the facility into the nearby marina.

It was also heard that the pump failure was not detected until the day after the pollution incident, a Sunday, and the pollution continued until a temporary pump was installed the following day.

TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Irish Marinas

The presence of a murky substance and discolouration in the water surrounding Bullock Harbour and Dalkey, Irish Water claim does not emanate from their waste treatment plants.

As the Dublin Gazette reports locals voiced their concern on the quality of the water during the week with images posted online showing a black substance floating to the top of the bay.

In a statement, Irish Water said: “Irish Water has investigated this issue and can confirm that the discolouration at Bullock Harbour is unrelated to the wastewater treatment process.

“All wastewater assets in the area are operating as normal and no incidents have been reported.”

Green Party county councillor Ossian Smyth says that “seawater is tested weekly at nine points along the coast from Shankill to Blackrock.

More on the story can be read here 

In addition Afloat adds a Harbour Masterplan prepared by the local council concerning Bullock and neighbouring Sandycove is currently available for consultation. 

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Council invite any interested parties or individuals to make submissions and observations in respect of the Bullock and Sandycove Harbours Draft Masterplan 2019 noting the closing date is Monday, 19th August. 

Click the download of the draft Masterplan and the link to an online survey to make submission.  

Published in Dublin Bay
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RORC Fastnet Race

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge.

For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between.

The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish for 2021 is in Cherbourg via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Cherbourg.

Fastnet Race - FAQs

The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August 2021.

The next two editions of the race in 2021 and 2023 will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin at the head of the Normandy peninsula, France

Over 300. A record fleet is once again anticipated for the world's largest offshore yacht race.

The international fleet attracts both enthusiastic amateur, the seasoned offshore racer, as well as out-and-out professionals from all corners of the world.

Boats of all shapes, sizes and age take part in this historic race, from 9m-34m (30-110ft) – and everything in between.

The Fastnet Race multihull course record is: 1 day 4 hours 2 minutes and 26 seconds (2019, Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier)

The Fastnet Race monohull course record is: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing).

David and Peter Askew's American VO70 Wizard won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall.

Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001.

The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result.

The winner of the first Fastnet Race was the former pilot cutter Jolie Brise, a boat that is still sailing today.

Cork sailor Henry P F Donegan (1870-1940), who gave his total support for the Fastnet Race from its inception in 1925 and competed in the inaugural race in his 43ft cutter Gull from Cork.

Ireland has won the Fastnet Race twice. In 1987 the Dubois 40 Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall for the first time and then in 2007 – all of twenty years after Irish Independent’s win – Ireland secured the overall win again this time thanks to Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland in Kilrush.

©Afloat 2020

Fastnet Race 2023 Date

The 2023 50th Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Saturday, 22nd July 2023

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At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 695 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Cherbourg
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result.

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