areas that impact water quality
Slurry spreading on lands that are unable to retain it, resulting
in the slurry getting into the local water system which causes enrichment
and pollutes the system. This issue is addressed in the EU Nitrates
Directive, which was signed off by the Irish Government in early
December 2005. The initial EU Nitrates Directive was issued 15 years
Soil enrichment from domestic tank leakage
Leechate oozing from soakpit of septic tank
Lack of and often-inadequate sewage systems in riparian towns
and villages means that raw sewage gets directly into the water
system. A problem also exists with rural septic tanks where output
from old and poorly maintained tanks seep into the local water
system. Raw sewage in a drinking water system is a major risk
to public health. The EU Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive
and the Drinking Water Directive are addressing this issue, the
Irish Government and the Local Authorities are slow to implement
Coillte are the largest landowner in the state with over 6%
of the country’s landmass, private forestry possible accounts
for a similar acreage. The planting of dense economically un-viable
non-native timbers in sensitive acid peat environment causes many
These conifers need fertiliser and pesticides to secure their
growth. Particular problems occur at harvesting due to the disturbance
of the soil and the subsequent wash off of the fertilisers and
chemicals. Action plans are beginning to emerge which will correct
The Group has demanded
the following Action Plan to address the above problems:
An immediate cessation of all activity relating to coniferous forestation
within the catchment of
The Great Western Lakes.
A halt to all E.U. Grant Aid for Conifer
Forestry on peat lands.
The full implementation of SAC status,
where applicable, in the sensitive areas surrounding the
Great Western Lakes.
Sewage Systems and Domestic/Private Effluent Systems: -
Full tertiary treatment with phosphorus removal facilities to apply to
all municipal sewage
discharges within the catchment.
An inspectorate system to be set up
for all private/domestic effluent treatment systems, with a requirement
that they be serviced annually.
Some scientific method must be found
to deal with the chemical effluent from rural housing.
Government programme introduced to have phosphorus free detergents more
affordable and an
educational programme put in place for the general public.
To ensure that there is a major reduction in land loss nutrients
to waters within the catchment.
An awareness campaign for farming practices in sensitive catchment areas.
A Grant Aid schemes where necessary to protect sensitive areas, i.e. SAC’s.
Requests for immediate action: -
The Carra Mask Corrib Water Protection Group demand and expect that the
policy document to be implemented in its entirely and nothing less will
A comprehensive Government Policy to save Lough Corrib must be forthcoming.
System – The Evidence:
• 74 % of all water sources
and 87% of high yielding wells and springs show the presence of e.coli
• Bacteria from faeces (coliforms) are present in 60% of the 377
private water systems supplying tens of thousands of homes in Galway County.
• Consumption of nitrate-rich water can cause “blue-baby syndrome”
• The increasing algae blooms (Cyanobasteria) seen during spells
on our lakes can produce a toxin as potent as cyanide. Blooms of this
type have occurred on Loughs Corrib and Mask, the main source of drinking
water in the west.
• Water is a precious commodity
vital for sustaining plant and animal life. The human body is about two
thirds water. The average persons need to take about 8 glasses per day.
• 70 % of the earth’s surface contains water yet only 1% is
• Over the past century the global population has grown three fold
yet the demand for water has increased six fold.
• The UN believes that two thirds of the world’s population
will experience drinking water shortages by 2025.
• Over the next twenty years water use will increase by 40%.
• In the developing world over 2.2 million people die each year
from water related shortages/diseases.
What you can
do to help:
Every household can help reduce their
output of phosphates and nitrates by ensuring they are using environmentally
friendly detergents, powders and liquids.
Anglers going ashore should take nothing
but photographs and leave nothing but footprints.
Farmers should assess the benefits
of spreading slurry and fertiliser on saturated lands, especially close
to the waterside, particularly during and after rainfall.
Foresters should consider the damage
caused by way of increased acidification of water caused by the planting
of trees too close to the sides of streams and lakes.
Waterside housing should use waste
treatment plants as their human waste management systems.