WWTP Kylemore Abbey, Galway: discharge licence W294/94R1

AIE 16

Standards for several parameters are set under Condition 2.3 of your discharge licence W 294/94R1. The results show non-compliances with the conditions of your licence.

Glan Agua have taken the time to review this for Kylemore quite thoroughly with the attached being their output which suggests Ferric can be used and should result in a vast improvement in the levels of Phosphorous being measured from the outlet of the system. The proposal to also redirect existing septic tanks to the system also being beneficial.

The NIS is actually viewable on the planning file 11/1003. I don’t believe we actually carried out an AA as would be done now but the NIS was assessed and the council was satisfied with it’s contents.

Review of Kylemore Abbey Wastewater Treatment Plant Report

Glan Agua

The current Emission Limit Values (ELVs) are as follows;
• Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD): 5mg/l
• Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD): 25mg/l
• Total Suspended Solids (TSS): 10mg/l
• Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG): 5mg/l
• Total Phosphorous (TP): 2mg/l
• Orthophosphate (OrthoP): 1mg/l
• Ammonia: 0.2mg/l
• Nitrate: 10mg/l
• pH: 6-9 pH units

The current treatment process consists in the following:
• Multiple septic tanks on the network
• Inlet pump station (directly to primary settlement)
• 2no. precast primary settlement tanks (36,000 L ea.) directly upstream of the RBCs operating in series at the main plant.
• Final Settlement Tank (FST)
• Sludge Return
• Phosphorous Reduction
• Polishing Lagoons (Reed Beds)

Whilst the current treatment process capacity cannot be accurately evaluated without additional information, it is fairly unlikely to be able to comply with the extremely stringent ELVs currently in place for the following reasons:

• There are numerous septic tanks on the network, which could lead to excessive retention time, septicity issues and ultimately detrimental impact on the process performances. Rationalisation of the network should be considered so that the remaining septic tanks operate within typical design parameters. This can be seen from the particularly low concentrations of solids and low BOD/TSS ratio in the influent, as well as anecdotal evidence (smell in the 2no. precast septic tanks).

• The storm water network looks to be amalgamated with the sewer network allowing introduction of high volumes of rain/storm water into the treatment system.

o The BOD/COD/TSS ELVs are extremely stringent. Typical ELVs for an RBC treatment process based on the current influent sample results would be 25mg/l BOD, 125mg/L COD and 35mg/l TSS.

• OrthoP, TP and residual aluminium ELVs
o For the OrthoP and TP ELVs, a chemical removal stage would be required to guarantee the ELVs. Based on the jar tests carried out which have shown the ELVs are readily achievable using chemical phosphorus removal, the system was designed assuming a Fe mole ratio of 3.5mol Fe/mol P. Assuming 29.9d storage, this would mean a coagulant storage tank of around 1000l would be required. 2no. chemical dosing pumps of 10l/h each (based on the estimated peak wastewater flow of 52.7m3/d plus 50% safety factor, i.e., daily peak flow of 79.1m3/d and assumed peak flow of 9.9m3/h) would be required.
o Optimisation of the chemical mole ratio through regular sampling and adjustment of the pumps will allow the process to minimise the risk of residual metal carryover. This would be further strengthened if a tertiary filtration stage was also provided as suggested above based on the BOD/COD/TSS ELVs. An iron probe could be provided; however, it should be noted that the licence does not include for an iron limit either.
o Due to the scale of the plant, and to the high costs associated with an OrthoP online monitor, the provision of this equipment to control the chemical dosing pumps would not be considered as viable.

• Ammonia and TN
o The existing RBCs is unlikely to be able to comply with the extremely stringent current ammonia ELV. With RBCs, the oxygen used for the nitrification reaction is only provided through diffusion from the ambient air to the wastewater when the disc is above the water, and it is therefore difficult to guarantee full nitrification. Available effluent results provided to Glan Agua for 2021 showed that the effluent from the RBCs was nonetheless generally compliant with the ammonia limit.
o For the nitrate ELV, a denitrification zone with nitrate recirculation (so that nitrates generated in the aerobic zone can be returned where BOD availability is greater) would be required – the existing process does not have such a zone and the existing ELV therefore cannot be guaranteed. An anoxic zone would need to be provided to guarantee compliance with the ELV.
o It should be noted that, due to alkalinity consumption by nitrification and coagulant dosing, alkalinity boosting using NaOH may be required depending on the outcome of the stormwater separation process and operational results when resuming ferric sulphate dosing.
▪ Assuming no denitrification, the max. storage volume required for 27.2d storage would be around 2000l, and 2no. 9.2l/h chemical dosing pumps would be required.
▪ If there was an anoxic zone provided upstream of the aeration stage with internal recirculation of nitrates, the denitrification reaction would allow for some alkalinity recovery and drop the requirement to 1500l (29.3d storage) storage and 6.4l/h chemical dosing.
o Finally, it should be noted that the existing polishing lagoons can actually have a detrimental impact on the effluent quality, due to the risk of algae or other organic matter growing in the lagoons, decomposition of vegetation, animal contamination etc. This was not seen for “Kylemore Remote WQ Baseline Data- 01.11.2021” apart from the 19/10/21 sample where the COD concentration at the outlet of the RBC (SW7) was 29mg/l, against 47mg/l at the outlet of the lagoon.

However, it is a risk that should be considered if a larger upgrade of the WwTP besides the provision of chemical dosing was considered

No application form would have been submitted for the review. An application form is only submitted if it’s an application for a new licence. The council issued a notice of review and the licencee submits info based on this. The info submitted by the licencee is what makes up most of volume 2. The NIS is actually viewable on the planning file
11/1003. I don’t believe we actually carried out an AA as would be done now but the NIS was assessed and the council was satisfied with it’s contents.

Doonbeg Priority Area for Action Desktop Report


Nov 2020

WFD app shows the water quality at Kilmihil stream is at Poor status due to elevated nutrient concentrations

WFD app indicates that sediment is the significant issue and the pressures are possibly forestry and/or an operational quarry upstream

Licence Register No. A0091-01 Kilmihil

The phosphate is likely to be reaching the river through discharge from UWWTP (Kilmihil Urban Waste Water Treatment Plant). Kilmihil wastewater treatment plant was identified in the EPA initial characterisation as the sole significant pressure on the Kilmihil Stream waterbody

EPA notes that this plant is overloaded (i.e. raw sewage is discharging untreated or partially treated to the river)

Last inspection was Nov 2019

Kilmihil licence file: https://epawebapp.epa.ie/licences/lic_eDMS/rss/A0091-01.xml

Latest filings:

No waste water treatment facility in the village of Cooraclare

Forestry on peat soils

Operational quarry on Tullagower Stream, Section 4 licensed facility (former quarry, now a waste recycling/recovery facility).

Note: Cannot locate quarry/recycling center, or related section 4 license, and not referenced by name in report. Maybe Tullagower Quarries ? waste farm plastics ?

Urban Waste Water Agglomerations Impacting on Freshwater Pearl Mussel

This shows all urban areas where improvements to waste water discharges are required to protect freshwater pearl mussel.

The standards set in each EPA waste water discharge licence have been set to achieve the requirements of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and the Water Framework Directive, including the requirement to protect freshwater pearl mussel.

This data set shows all waste water treatment plants in agglomerations (towns/cities) where improvements are required to protect freshwater pearl mussel.



Formats provided do not obviously display the list of sites, needs checking

eg Kanturk Wastewater Treatment Plant

Does not include private/commercial waste waste treatment sites impacting on FPM

Owenriff Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

Jan 2020


The main pressure in this waterbody is hydromorphology from channelisation, which changing the hydrological and morphological dynamics of the river.

In terms of hydro morphology, there are historic OPW arterial drainage schemes, liaising with the OPW will be required to determine how to restore the waterbodies affected in the Owenriff PAA to their natural habitat. There are also historic land drains leading into the four river waterbodies in the PAA that maybe transporting volumes of sediment to the waterbodies, drain blocking will be required in these cases.

Forestry and peat extraction

Farahy Priority Area for Action Desktop Report


Feb 2020

FWPM sub-catchment.

Land use maps show that the bulk of Farahy_010 is under forestry.

Forestry pressure on Limerick area of catchment, related sediment/BOD


Agriculture pressures

Mitchelstown and Kildorrery Trout Anglers Association have reported on water quality

Management of runoff from recreational facility (Mallow Autocross)

Ballyguyroe landfill site

Upper Caragh Priority Area for Action Desktop Report


Feb 2020

High ecological status objective site, currently at Poor status and At Risk

Part of the Caragh Freshwater Pearl Mussel catchment

Important fishery for Arctic char

No water chemistry data available

Hydromorphology and agriculture were identified as the significant pressures

High risk of surface phosphate (and sediment) pathways. Corine land use and soil maps indicate pasture on peat in all three waterbodies, with the risk of ammonia loss to surface waters. Areas of land reclamation carry the risk of sediment loss to surface waters. Pathways may be both point sources (e.g. farmyards) and diffuse (e.g. slurry spreading, overland flow and land drains).

Ogeen Priority Area for Action Desktop Report


Nov 2020

Receiving water (Awbeg (Buttevant)_050 was failing to meet protected area objectives for Freshwater Pearl Mussel

Forestry / clear felling

Pre reg forestry may be responsible for the decline in biology (ortho-Phosphate and sediment).

Possible sediment issue linked to felling associated with windfarm construction. Corine land usage and soil maps show that the bulk of the waterbody is under forestry with much of this on peaty soils. This suggests that sediment is the significant issue impacting on water quality here. Linked to this is a possible nutrient issue (ammonium and phosphate) associated with sediment transport. Forestry felling may have released both sediment and nutrients to the waterbody.

The bulk of the sub-basin is under forestry

Forestry (clearfelling) as the sole significant pressure for Ogeen

Allow Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

August 2018


The Allow is part of the Munster Blackwater SAC which contains Otter, Salmon, Shad, Lamprey and Freshwater Pearl Mussel among others.

The RaptorLife project and IRD Duhallow are active in area with the possibility of ongoing agri-environment projects.

The main risk of diffuse pollution is likely to be phosphate via overland flow as well as sedimentation from modified channels and drainage

Failing to meet protected area objectives for Freshwater Pearl Mussel (19 of 27 catchments of S.I. 296 2009)

Kanturk WWTP

North Cork Creameries Co-operative (Section 4 site) – licensed industry with chemistry indicating elevated levels of phosphate and ammonia

EPA file for North Cork Creameries Co-operative is here



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