Gageborough Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

Nov 2019


All three waterbodies are at Moderate Ecological Status (2010-2015) and are categorised as At Risk

There is no chemistry data available for any of the waterbodies

The significant pressures are identified as agriculture and hydromorphology

Pesticide Investigation

There is a surface water drinking abstraction point at Ballyboughlin bridge which is North of Clara, Co. Offaly. Pesticides have been detected within this supply above the drinking water limit over the last number of years, subsequently the supply was added to the EPA pesticide watch list in 2017. Due to the number of exceedances, in 2018 OCC generated a pesticide exceedance response plan to assist in identification of the source of pesticides within the drinking water catchment area.

There was just one sampling location in which a pesticide was detected above the drinking water limit (0.1μg/l), sampling location 13 detected Diflufenican-Triaz-LC- at 0.273μg/l. This sample was taken directly downstream of a horticultural nursery, whilst sampling location 14 (containing no pesticides) was taken directly upstream of the nursery. The most commonly detected pesticides within this sampling event included MCPA, Trichlopyr and Fluroxpyr.

Drumcomoge Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

March 2021


Land use is predominantly pasture with small areas of cut peat towards the north east and south east. The main towns are Knocklong, Hospital (part overlies), Emly, Kilross and Knockainey.

There are three public drinking water abstractions in the sub-basin.

Most of the Drumcomoge river channel is under the Groody, Maigue and Deel OPW arterial drainage scheme and the channel profile is suggestive of fairly extensive channel modification here in the past.

River hydromorphology assessments (RHAT) undertaken in 2019 by Wetlands Survey Ireland as part of a survey of the wider Maigue catchment on behalf of the Maigue Rivers Trust classified one site near Knockainey as Good and eight sites as either moderate or poor. The report states that ‘the main factors contributing to Poor assessments were the previous channel alteration, loss of riparian vegetation, and cattle access to the river leading to erosion and sedimentation’.

Drumcomoge_010 is not currently monitored under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) for either biology or chemistry.

Significant issues are likely to be phosphate and sediment

Sediment and nutrients appear to be the significant issues in this waterbody. Agriculture is likely to be a significant pressure here in terms of nutrient (and possibly also sediment) pollution. Possible hydromorphology pressures include channel maintenance, channel alteration, land reclamation and bank erosion.

A0210-01 and A409-01

There are two urban wastewater treatment plants (UWWTPs) discharging to the sub-basin (Knocklong and Emly)

Bride (Cork City) Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

Dec 2021


Local catchment assessments in the Bride (Cork City) PAA will focus on identifying and assessing urban pressures in both PAA waterbodies, looking for sources of phosphate, ammonium and organic pollution.

PAA waterbodies are unmonitored except for supporting chemistry which was assessed between 2012 and 2017 at seven pre WFD sites

Storm overflows may be a significant pressure

Sediment may also be a potential significant issue.

Significant urban misconnections

Altered habitat due to hydrological and morphological changes

In terms of nitrate contribution to the downstream catchment agriculture is a potential pressure

Private domestic wastewater treatment systems

Urban diffuse pressure

Caha Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

Jan 2020


One of the 27 catchments included in the Freshwater Pearl Mussel Regulations (SI 269 of 2009). It is failing to meet the conservation objectives for Pearl Mussel under this legislation.

It is not clear what the issue impacting Caha is. Land use in the catchment consists of pasture and forestry. There is potential for sedimentation of the river substrate from recent forest clear-felling as well as historic quarries in the catchment. Both have been identified as potential significant pressures. Agriculture is primarily low intensity, but there are a few dairy farms in the area.

Coolkellure Lake is a 3.5-hectare (Type 7) lake, located in Coolkellure townland, close to the headwaters of Bandon. It is the drinking water source for Dunmanway (abstraction rate of 550 m3/day). It is currently at ‘Moderate’ status. 

Ecological monitoring in Coolkellure lake indicates a nutrient issue in the lake. Macrophyte and phytoplankton communities both show enrichment.

Forestry has been identified as a potential significant issue in the catchment. The lake is bounded by conifer plantation forestry that has been recently clear-felled. Given the proximity to the lake, steep slopes and peaty soils there is the potential for sediment and nutrient runoff to the lake as a result. Local catchment assessment will focus on the tributary streams to assess from where significant issues might be occurring.

There are two quarries that are no longer operational. Both could have been a source of sediment to the river in the past

Additional information requirements

• Felling records needed for Coolkellure lake and Caha_020

• Additional information from Cork Co Co on quarry discharges in Caha 020

Owvane Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

Feb 2020


The Owvane River (also known as White river and Abha Bhan river) rises in County Limerick to the north of Carrigkerry townland and flows north through Ballyhahill into the Shannon estuary at Loghill.

Land use, soil type and PIP maps indicate that the significant issue impacting on water quality at this site is most likely to be sediment and/or ammonia from forestry on peat

Lands to the south are mainly under forestry and the soil type is peat (see Appendix I and II). Streams in Owvane_010 (headwaters upstream of the PAA) flow mainly through forested areas with blanket peat.

Cloonlahard stream on Owvane_030 also flows through forestry and peaty soil. Felling records would be useful for the upstream lands to assist in determining whether forestry is a significant pressure here.

Forestry, peat and point sources from farmyards 

There is one large point source on Owvane, Gortadroma landfill, located a short distance upstream of the WFD monitoring point at West Bridge. However, the landfill is closed and capped and phosphate would not normally be associated with landfill leachate so this facility is unlikely tobe a significant pressure here.

Ballyhahill wastewater treatment plant

S4 facility ?

Felling history in the catchment upstream of Cloonlahard

Inny Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

Jan 2020


All four waterbodies have deteriorated since the first WFD cycle, dropping from good to moderate ecological status. As such they are At Risk of not meeting their WFD objectives (good status).

It is not evident what the significant issues are.

The semi-natural habitat in the area is open heath and blanket bog; however, much of the land has been converted to forestry, pasture and peat extraction. There are also four licensed quarries in the area and a fish farm in Ballinskelligs Bay (Marine Harvest).

Drainage associated with pasture, afforestation and peat extraction and phosphate release from agriculture and forest clear felling are potential pressures. As a result, the main issues are likely to be siltation of the channel bed and enrichment by phosphate (P) (and potentially nitrogen also).

Two water bodies are failing to meet their protected area objectives for salmon.

Potential source is fertiliser applications to reclaimed land along the river channel and phosphate release from recent felling

The areas of highest potential for diffuse phosphate runoff are ‘improved’ agricultural lands that occur on alluvial soils along the main river channel and localised areas of poorly draining mineral soils throughout the catchment

Drainage associated with pasture, afforestation and peat extraction is causing hydromorphological changes.

Potential for diffuse phosphate from agriculture and forest clear-felling.

Group Water abstractions

(Maulin PWSS 066H); River WB abstraction (Maulin PWSS 066H)

Last EPA audit for Maulin water abstrction was 2015–enforcement/drinking-water/audit-reports/kerry/maulin-public-drinking-water-supply.php


QY 135 (now closed), Foilmore Quarries Ltd, Keelnagore, Cahersiveen, Kerry ( location: 51.936653546978974, -10.105066567681178 )

QS-0132 maybe mistake, as listed as concrete operations in Monaghan, (also on map as 01302 which is not on EPA quarry register)

QS 01251 Derreennageeha, Kerry

QY 036 Dromaragh, Waterville, Kerry

Bleach & Lough Graney Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

March 2020


The PAA is located within the Shannon- Graney/Scarriff margaratifera sensitive area (i.e. catchment with previous records of margaritifera but current status unknown).

Land use is mainly forestry. Forestry is the sole significant pressure on this waterbody.

The significant issue impacting on water quality prior to the 2014 decline is likely to have been sediment and the significant pressure was forestry (probably felling, given the low level nutrient peaks observed).
Lough Graney (At Risk)

Moderate ecological status since monitoring commenced in 2007. Status is driven by macrophytes.

Land use in the sub-basin is mainly agriculture with some forestry to the west and north. Agriculture, and forestry are likely the significant pressures on this lake.

The significant issue impacting on water quality is most likely to be phosphorus.

Stream walks are required to identify whether pathways exist between forested areas and the river/its tributaries

Additional information requirements

Talk to Forest Service staff to obtain more detailed information on felling, particularly in the Bleach_010 headwaters during the period Summer 2012 to Summer 2014.

Also obtain information on aerial fertilization programmes undertaken here in the past.

LAWPRO AIE Request: Priority Areas for Action (PAAs) 21/10/2021

FOI-0421-2021 ( Submitted to who redirected to ) 1/11/21

“Under the AIE Regulations 2007-2018, please provide any communications which identifies the measures listed as “Quick Wins” by LAWPRO catchment scientists and passed on to ASSAP for action

For context:

LAWPRO catchment scientists work in specific catchment areas called Priority Areas for Action (PAAs)

The list of Proposed Areas for Action can be viewed here

There is a complete lack of transparency regarding the individual measures proposed, implemented, monitored and reported by LAWPRO (and ASSAP)

My understanding is the LAWPRO catchment scientists (there’s approx 37 of them) walk catchments to spot problems and then pass these to ASSAP to engage with the farmers, landowners, etc


I would like to determine where these ‘Quick Wins’ are documented, initially written up by the Catchment Team, how they are passed to the ASSAP Team, and where all this work is eventually documented to determine is a “Quick Win” turned out to be quick and/or a win

For the purposes of this request please consider the Quick Wins in the 2nd Cycle (2018 to 2021), unless the Quick Wins have already been worked on for the 3rd Cycle (2022 to 2027)