Inland Fisheries Ireland prosecutes Irish Water over lime discharge and fish kill in River Varty
Spill resulted in fish mortalities for approximately 500m downstream
Friday, 23rd February, 2018: At a sitting of Bray District Court on 20/02/2018, Irish Water pleaded guilty to the discharge of deleterious matter to the River Vartry on the 21/02/2017.
The offence related to the accidental discharge of lime from their water treatment facility at Roundwood, Co Wicklow.
Ms Roisin O Callaghan, Fisheries Environmental Officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), told Judge Kennedy that, on the 21/02/2017, IFI received a call that there had been an accidental spill of lime at the water treatment plant. On investigation, she confirmed that the spill had resulted in fish mortalities for approximately 500m downstream from the discharge. A series of water samples were taken and analysis confirmed that the lime spill had altered the pH in the receiving water, resulting in the death of approximately 100 fish.
Irish Water co-operated fully with IFI’s investigation and initiated an immediate clean-up of the site.
Mr Eoghan Cole BL, representing Irish Water, stated that following the clean-up, the Environmental Protection Agency had completed a dye survey on the drainage network to confirm that only clean surface water was discharging to the River Vartry.
Judge Kennedy commented on the significance of the River Vartry in supporting Atlantic Salmon, Sea Trout, Brown Trout and Lamprey.
Irish Water were fined €500 with costs and expenses amounting to €6,937.65.
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Notes to Editors:
About Inland Fisheries Ireland:
Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland promotes, supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the Minister on same.