Donegal County Council’s Water & Environment Directorate seeks tenders for the services of Farm Inspectors to carry out a programme of farm inspections

A contract will be awarded for the out-sourcing of a series of Farm Inspections in various “At Risk” catchments in Co. Donegal.

The specification may include carrying out of Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) and Investigative Assessment in certain agricultural catchments, as required.

https://irl.eu-supply.com/ctm/Supplier/PublicPurchase/223490/1

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has allocated some short-term funding to local authorities to increase efforts to deal with several water quality pressures in high risk water bodies, the largest of which is agriculture, under the 2nd River Basin Management Plan and continuing into the 3rd cycle plan yet to be published.

As a first step, an increased programme of agricultural inspections will be compiled and commenced in these water bodies in the coming months. The resources for this work will be drawn from the private sector and this contract is for the engagement of suitably qualified contract staff to carry out the required inspections in various catchments within Donegal County Council’s functional area.

These inspections will focus primarily on farmyards and compliance with the Good Agricultural Practice Regulations, eg – slurry storage, silage pits, manure pits/dungsteads, minimisation of soiled water, drains and adjacent water-courses, including cattle access and farm roadways.

Initial planning, selection of sites and follow-up actions, including enforcement will be carried out by local authority staff. The Council will draw up a weekly programme of inspections in a small number of “at risk” catchments and these will be completed by the contract staff using a pre-set inspection template and recorded in electronic format. Farms to be inspected will include the full range of farm types, including, dairy, sheep and mixed farms.

Provision of Ecological advisory services to Louth County Council (at Clogherhead)

Louth County Council, with the support of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan fund, invites proposals for the provision of professional services for conservation assessment, reporting and recommendations for future management of grazing and of visitors on that section of Clogherhead SAC owned and managed by Louth County Council

Responses are invited from experienced ecological consultants (contractors) with proven experience of managing grazing for biodiversity conservation and also of controlling pressure from recreational visitors. The brief requires detailed, site specific guidance and recommendations for grazing (commencement, termination and intensity) on a site that is heavily used by walkers, including dog-walkers.

Required Outputs

  • An illustrated, objective report on the current ecological condition of the SAC, paying particular attention to the presence or absence of the species for which the SAC was designated. This should focus primarily on the Council-owned section of the SAC but it may be useful to draw comparisons, whether positive or negative, with the effect of management on adjacent areas in private ownership and managed as farms.
  • Detailed recommendations for future conservation grazing of the Council-owned part of the SAC. This should specify which species of grazing animals would be best (e.g. cows and/or calves, sheep, goats, ponies), how many animals (Livestock Units) are required, for how long and when grazing should begin and end (e.g. start June to October), while bearing in mind annual climatic variability.
  • Mapping and appraisal of the many informal walking routes currently in use over the Council-owned land, with reference to the use of the path from Little Strand, close to Clogherhead village, to Port Oriel. How many paths across the Council-owned land exist ? How many people are using them? How many have dogs? Are there runners or cyclists too? While it would be useful to know what the catchment area of the site is, in terms of walking/ recreation/ exercise, tenderers are not required to cover this but comments are welcome. Liaison with adjacent landowners and community bodies might be required to inform this aspect of the project. Consideration might be given to holding a public event, if considered useful.
  •  Recommendations for the control and better guidance of recreational use of the SAC land, including creating new access points and routes or closing off existing ones. Directional signage or other more subtle techniques to control and direct walkers should be proposed. Suggestions for access for people with limited mobility would be welcome.
  • An informed, comparative assessment of littering on the site, including but not limited to: waste from trawling and cliff angling, flotsam, picnics, consumption of takeaways, barbecues, setting off of fireworks, dog mess bags, cigarette butts, sweet wrappers.

Multi-Party Framework Agreement for the preparation of Surface Water Management Plans (SWMP) for Fingal County Council

To establish a Multi-Party Framework for Engineering Consultancy services for the preparation of Surface Water Management Plans (SWMP) for Local Area Plans (LAP), Masterplans, Urban Frameworks and other study areas;

Surface Water Management plans will consist of two key integral parts;

1. Preparation of Strategic Flood risk assessments in accordance with the “Planning system and Flood risk Management Guidelines for Planning Authorities”. This will include for all relevant stages of flood risk assessment as outlined by the Guidelines. 

2. Preparation of Sustainable Drainage Strategies (SDS) for the sustainable development of lands under consideration for development. The strategies will be an example of best practice in the use of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)/Nature Based Solutions. As set out in the Fingal County Development Plan, it is an objective of Fingal County Council to encourage, promote and implement sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) on all new developments throughout the county and to encourage where feasible the retrofit of sustainable drainage systems within existing developments. The Sustainable Drainage Strategy will examine the feasibility of using all SuDS solutions including, swales, permeable pavement, rainwater harvesting, tree pits, green and blue roofs, detention basins, ponds and wetlands amongst other SuDS devices. The SDS must comply with the Fingal County Council Green Blue Infrastructure Guidance and the Dept of Housing Nature Based Solution Guidance 2022.

Water test results and photographs for LM02-FL0026

This felling licence resulted in Leitrim Co Co serving a Section 12 Water Pollution Notice on Coillte.

Section 12 Notices

Under Section 12 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Acts, 1977 & 1990, the Local Authority may serve a notice in writing on any person having custody or control of polluting matter. This notice specifies measures to be taken by the person in order to prevent or control the pollution of the water concerned.

Furthermore a person who does not comply with the terms of a Section 12 Notice shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to prosecution by the Local Authority.

Notes on test results

There is limited value in one off tests, as you cannot tell what the situation was beforehand for particular parameters

Who selects the test parameters and why are particular parameters tested?  This looks like a good suite of parameters

The presence of E. coli in a drinking water sample usually indicates recent fecal contamination.  Boil notices are issued for  E. coli

Coliforms should be zero

pH is fine, but what was it before?

Hardness is linked to geology, would expect limestone in Leitrim tests

Colour should be zero in drinking water, so drinking water is cloudy

Conductivity looks elevated, but cannot say for sure as normal conductivity is unknown.  Conductivity is a good indicator, but requires regular testing to establish baseline

Lead.  Limits for lead in drinking water are very low (eg compared with copper).  You would not expect lead unless from lead pipes

Ammonia levels suggest recent organic pollution

Manganese is naturally occuring, but when high causes staining. New scientific studies show that high manganese levels in drinking water may have a harmful effect on the nervous system and brain development. Therefore, it is advised that you should not drink water with manganese levels above 120 µg/l

Analytical techniques

Colorimetry

Colorimetry is the use of coloured compounds to determine the concentration of a target chemical compound. It is one of the earliest and most reliable forms of water analysis and is used to test for a wide array of analytes

ICPMS

Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is an analytical technique that can be used to measure elements at trace levels

Gravimetry

Gravimetric analysis is any procedure in which the masses of substances are measured in order to determine the composition of a sample

Acc. : Accredited Parameters by ISO/IEC 17025:2017

ISO/IEC 17025:2017 specifies the general requirements for the competence, impartiality and consistent operation of laboratories.

PVL – Parametric Value Limit as per EU (Drinking water) Regulations (SI 122 2014)

AIE Request: OEE Waste Crime Project Sites

Under the AIE Regs to request the following dataset OEE Waste Crime Project Sites

Resource identifier is AM.IE.EPA.WST_IllegalWasteSites


This is a points dataset of locations logged in Excel by Local Authorities in the OEE waste crime project. The Excel, held by OEE, has all the locations logged by LA’s.

Data refused:

Site Location address

Location

Status of Enforcement Action

Shp file (GIS mapping data)

Refusal to release mapping data based on:

The factors in favour of withholding this information are:
• Right to privacy
• Right to privacy of third parties
• Public Interest in protecting the ability of public bodies to carry out their functions and to be able to communicate effectively.

Requested review 25/5/22

Download the data here:

Sample data

AIE Request: mapping national septic tank inspections

Under the AIE Regs to request the following dataset of geographic locations of national septic tank inspections


As per EPA website
https://gis.epa.ie/geonetwork/srv/api/records/8a5209fe-554e-4f09-952c-2e596f813292

The following link (as above) is a dataset that “represents the site locations of Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems where inspections have been carried out under the National Inspection Plan.

These locations have been captured by Local Authority Inspectors as part of the process of logging inspection details within the Domestic Waste Water Application. My understanding is the dataset is used by EPA to create various pdf reports but the actual GIS data does not appear to be in the public domain.


Statement on the dataset suggests that the locations in this dataset are captured using an integrated map part within the Domestic Waste Water Application whereby the Inspector selects the location on the map. Alternatively, the Inspector can enter the coordinates manually at which point the application then displays the location on the map for verification.

Download data here:

Sample data

Data refused

Co-ordinates of the locations of the inspections

Townland where inspection took place

Waste Water Disposal ID (*unclear what this is)

System Design PE (*unclear what this is)

Shared System (*unclear what this is)

Total Contributing PE

Number Linked Properties

Shape GIS Details

EPA grounds for refusal:

The factors in favour of withholding this information are:
• Right to privacy
• Right to privacy of third parties
• Public Interest in protecting the ability of public bodies to carry out their functions and to be able to communicate effectively.

Request for Internal Review: based on the following submissions

  • environmental data should be published by default, particularly locations of pollution inspections
  • public interest in an open and transparent national septic tank inspection regime
  • adjoining properties have a right to know, as could adversely impact their lands, water supplies, farm payments etc
  • location of environmental hazards is absolutely core to AIE process (threats to human health and safety)
  • EPA approach to redacting environmental enforcement data undermines the local authority process of enforcement inspections

Request internal review: 25/2/22