Derravaragh: Priority Area for Action Desk Study Report

AFA_0061 Desk Study Report

20th October 2021

AIE request to LAWPRO

Five out of the seven waterbodies within the Priority Area for Action (PAA) are characterised as At Risk of failing to meet their WFD objective of good ecological status and currently just the Yellow (Castlepollard)_020 and Lough Derravaragh are currently meeting their WFD objectives of Good Ecological Status (2021).

Small Stream Impact Score (SSIS) and visual assessments will narrow down impacted waterbody stretches.

Location of these chemistry sampling points will be determined by using existing data and the Pollution Impact Potential (PIP) maps and GIS. This will help refine areas where nutrient risk is greatest.

Agriculture pasture is listed in the EPA’s characterisation as the sole significant pressure on the Derravaragh groundwater body.

Peat harvesting is referenced multiple times, but not mapped. Mapping illegal peat extraction is difficult. The Big 3 peat operators are working large sites north of the catchment, with drainage into rivers and streams north of Derravaragh

The Derravaragh PAA was selected as a priority area for action in the 2nd cycle. The EPA report includes the following reasons:
• Three potential quick wins
• Building on existing work completed by Westmeath County Council in Multyfarnham Headwaters to Derravaragh lake
• Important fishery – one of 13 wild brown trout fisheries in Europe.
• The underlying groundwater body is At Risk – potential to build on previous karst research
• Potential to build on work completed by IFI.
• Important for tourism & heritage.
• Two deteriorated waterbodies

Castlepollard WWTP discharges: is there a separate EPA or Irish Water audit report on this plant ?

LAWPRO are flagged as the Responsible Agency for (most) of the pollution sources

Sample quarry (on the Gaine River, south of lake),+Co.+Westmeath/@53.6001689,-7.3566434,421m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x485dea1bbe05627d:0x816297eabba90282!2m2!1d-7.3365218!2d53.5921994

Sample peat extraction site on Graine River

Peatland sites north of Derravaragh (horticultural peat extraction sites?)

Quarry south of Derravaragh

Ongoing OPW canalisation of rivers in this area

Other pollution sources

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