Ireland's groundwater faces national quality assessment


White Young Green (WYG) Ireland - consultant to the built, natural and social environment - has been awarded the contract by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide groundwater quality data that will assist in the national assessment of Ireland’s groundwater.

The monitoring programme has been established to satisfy Ireland’s obligations in respect of the monitoring requirements of the Water Framework Directive for Groundwater (WFD) (2000/60/EC) and will involve comprehensive quality sampling and analysis conducted throughout the country in 2008.

Commenting on the contract, Teri Hayes, WYG Environmental Ireland Director said - “WYG is delighted to have been awarded this prestigious contract. In order to deliver large-scale projects such as this, WYG has an expert groundwater division with 12 hydrogeologists and geologists experienced in environmental assessment, groundwater development, protection and monitoring - of which, three field scientists and three office-based scientists will be involved in completing the monitoring concurrently in three regions.

"The sampling and analysis will involve collecting significant data which will form part of the national database used to make decisions at a national level on development and groundwater protection. This work will have a direct and positive influence on water quality in Ireland and we are proud to be a part of it.”

To meet the requirements of the WFD, the EPA intends to monitor approximately 248 groundwater quality sites throughout Ireland in 2008. The majority of the sites are abstraction points for Public or Group Water Supply Schemes. Four samples are required at each of the 248 monitoring sites during 2008 and these samples will then be analysed for specified micro-biological, physio-chemical and chemical determinands.

According to Dr. Matthew Craig, Scientific Officer, EPA - “The EPA is pleased to announce that WYG Ireland has been appointed to provide this service, which will enable the EPA to meet their requirement under the EU Water Framework Directive to monitor groundwater quality. The results of the monitoring will be used in Groundwater Body (GWB) Classification which is to be completed by 2009.”