Water Quality Monitoring

Good water quality is a prerequisite to the development and protection of Ireland's inland waterways as angling and amenity waters.

Pollution may adversely affect the health of our inland waterways and ultimately limit our ability, and that of future generations, to use rivers and lakes as a sustainable resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland carry out monitoring and research to assess the extent and impacts of pollution and to determine environmental trends.

One of the main threats to the inland waterways comes from excessive nutrient enrichment resulting in eutrophication. The long-term effects of such pollution are often more serious than dramatic discharges which result in instantaneous fish kills. Prolonged exposure of fish to sub-lethal pollution may reduce growth rates, inhibit reproductive functions and possibly alter the habitat as to render it uninhabitable for certain fish species.

One of the key roles of Inland Fisheries Ireland therefore is the ongoing monitoring of water quality to assess the concentration of chemical pollutants (e.g. nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates) on a number of key inland waterways. This monitoring consists of physicochemical analysis on-site and bacteriological and further chemical analysis in the CFB laboratory. The purpose of the work is to identify and eliminate sources of pollution, thus maintaining these waterways as a valuable recreational resource.

Further Information

Dr. Fiona Kelly
(Senior Research Officer)
Tel: +353 (0)1 884 2600