Highlights some of the issues in water abstraction, and meeting the requirements of the WFD
Highlights some of the issues in water abstraction, and meeting the requirements of the WFD
Registration of a water abstraction is required when then maximum daily abstraction is expected to exceed 25 m3/d and is not required for any abstraction below this amount. This document can be used to estimate abstraction volumes for various sectors where the abstraction volume is not directly monitored.
The estimates in this document have been prepared in consultation with the various sectors who abstract water and following review of relevant studies on abstraction volume
The following sectors are known to have abstractions greater than 25 m3/d:
1. Agriculture (Livestock);
2. Agriculture (Irrigation);
3. Agriculture (Horticulture);
4. Drinking water supply (Public Supplies);
5. Drinking water supply (Group Water Schemes and large private supplies);
7. Golf course;
9. Industrial (IPC/IED/Waste licensed);
10. Industrial of commercial (unlicensed));
11. Mining and quarrying;
12. Peat extraction;
13. Horse Racing Courses.
Majority of sensors are EPA or OPW
Irish Water sensors not on the map ? eg sensors on Vartry ?
The Determination of the Appeal by An Bord Pleanála for the Vartry Water Treatment Plant (Appeal Reference PL 27.247745 – Planning Reference 16 363) required the preparation of a Schedule of Commitments.
This is the document is submitted to Wicklow County Council in compliance with Appeal
Condition 2 (b).
The Condition is worded as follows:
2. The following shall apply in relation to mitigation measures and commitments:
(a) The mitigation measures and commitments identified in the Environmental Reports and other plans and particulars submitted with the planning application, and the further particulars submitted by the applicant at the oral hearing, shall be implemented in full by the developer, except as may otherwise be required in order to comply with the following conditions.
(b) All mitigation measures and commitments, including relevant matters which emanate from the planning conditions below, shall be compiled into a Schedule of Commitments, which shall be a single document, a draft version of which shall be submitted to the planning authority within three months of the date of this decision.
(c) No development including enabling works shall commence prior to receipt of the written agreement of the planning authority in relation to a final Schedule of Commitments. In default of agreement the matter shall be referred to An Bord Pleanála.
3. The operation of the proposed development shall be in accordance with the following:
(a) Water abstraction shall not exceed the established volume of eighty million litres per day.
(b) A minimum compensation flow of five million litres per day shall be discharged.
(c) The method of delivery of this flow shall be by way of the seven sand filter beds which are to be retained.
(d) The branch pipework proposed to deliver the discharge shall have a capacity of at least fifteen million litres per day and the valve controlling the branch pipework shall be capable of remote control and variability.
(e) The practice of ‘back pumping’ shall cease.
(f) All supernatants shall be recycled to the head of the works.
(g) Within three months of the operation of the proposed development the existing water abstraction at Annagolen Bridge shall cease.
(h) The existing interceptor channel shall be retained for the delivery of surface water only.
(i) All chemical dosing shall be relocated to the site of the new water treatment plant and the existing infrastructure adjacent to the river fully decommissioned.
4. The following shall apply in relation to the monitoring of flow:
(a) Within six months of the date of this decision the developer shall install and maintain two hydrometric gauging stations, one on-site in the Vartry River and a second one further down the Vartry River catchment, which shall be permanently established with a fixed structure incorporating suitable fish passage and shall accurately measure and record in real time the combined flows from the water treatment plant discharge and the spillway channel.
(b) The locations shall be subject to the written agreement of the planning authority following consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency and Inland Fisheries Ireland.
(c) The existing weir in the discharge chamber shall be calibrated and its performance evaluated.
(d) The availability of data shall be in accordance with the requirements of the planning authority. The developer shall also make information available to the planning authority on request and shall present an annual report summarising key issues which shall also be made available for public inspection by the developer.
5 The developer shall undertake a wetted area fisheries habitat mapping and hydrological monitoring to include a fisheries area assessment. Details shall be submitted to the planning authority and the development shall comply with the requirements of the planning authority following consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency and Inland Fisheries Ireland. The duration of this assessment shall be for the construction period.
6. An Environmental Management Plan and Invasive Species Management Plan shall be submitted by the developer to the planning authority.
(a) This shall include inter alia a construction programme for the works, hours of construction and a traffic management plan and shall incorporate the Final Schedule of Commitments to include measures for the protection of the natural environment and to mitigate noise and air quality impacts.
(b) The developer shall retain the services of a suitably qualified Environmental Clerk of Works to monitor and record the implementation of the mitigation measures, the impact of works on the environment and to record and investigate any environmental complaints received from the public. This person shall be given power to suspend or take further mitigation measures as necessary.
(c) The written agreement of the planning authority in relation to the above measures shall be obtained prior to commencement of any works including enabling works.
Reports on abstraction volumes since plant commissioning
Reports on compensatory flow since plant commissioning
Locations of two hydrometric gauging stations on the River Vartry (one station is below Ashford, at Mount Usher Gardens)
Annual reports on flow gauging data
Invasive species management plan
Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan
Report on the decommissioning of abstraction operations at Annagolen bridge
Report on retention of existing interceptor channel, and pathway for treatment chemicals / treated water to river
Note: EPA audit report gives a good overview of upgrade, recent chemical incidents, and monitoring systems at the WTP
The European Union (Natural Mineral Waters, Spring Waters and other Waters in Bottles or Containers) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 282 of 2016) places a responsibility on the producers of bottled water to ensure the source is protected and sets the quality and the treatment standards for the final product.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is the competent authority for enforcement of these Regulations.
Locations of packaged water companies
Digital datasets of water abstraction licence application locations (except public water supplies) in SHP and GML format.
Abstraction & Impoundment Licensing Team
Water Management Unit
17 Antrim Road
Northern Ireland abstraction database in Excel (840 records)
The EPA note twenty one bottled water plants across Ireland. These include three categories of water – Natural Mineral Waters, Spring Waters and other Waters in Bottles or Containers
The locations/plants/abstraction data for bottled water abstraction is redacted in the EPA data, but the CSO publish the data on bottled water imports and exports
Abstraction of groundwater does not generally require authorisation and groundwater abstracted for bottled water production is not monitored by local authorities or by the Department to determine its quality or to control abstraction volumes.
The European Union (Natural Mineral Waters, Spring Waters and other Waters in Bottles or Containers) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 282 of 2016) places a responsibility on the producers of bottled water to ensure the source is protected and sets the quality and the treatment standards for the final product. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is the competent authority for enforcement of these Regulations.
The EPA has compiled a database of known water abstractions as part of the development of the draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021. The database identifies twenty one bottled water plants across Ireland with production volumes ranging between 106 cubic meters per day at the largest plant to just 41 litres per day at the smallest plant. However, these amounts relate to the volume of the final product produced and do not take into account any water abstracted which might be used as part of the production process.
Note: List of (2) natural mineral waters recognised by Ireland
(In accordance with Article 1 of Directive 2009/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on the exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters)
Guidelines for the frequency of routine official control sampling and analysis of bottled water
As required by Council Directive 98/83/EC (as amended by Commission Directive (EU) 2015/1787), the frequency of routine official control sampling and analysis should be based on risk. As a minimum, one partial and one full monitoring sample should be taken per year. The frequency should be reviewed annually and revised (either reduced or increased) based on risk, taking into account factors such as:
• Confidence in management
• Borehole construction
• Age of borehole
• Protection of the source
• History of sample results
• Change in land use
• Suspicion of, or known, pollution events
• Change of activities in the local area
• Changes to extraction rates.
Directive 2009/54/EC does not specify minimum frequencies for the sampling and analysis of spring water by the official agency. The frequencies should be based on risk and can be adjusted accordingly when statistical trends on the microbiological qualities are established. In order to establish a profile of the microbiological composition of the water during production, it is suggested that samples should be taken at various locations, e.g. at source, during marketing and at the point of bottling.
The HSE Environmental Health Service is the responsible authority for the enforcement of all food legislation in ‘other water’ establishments. Unlike natural mineral water, there is no legal requirement for recognition of ‘other water’. The provisions of Council Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water (sold in bottles or containers) intended for human consumption apply to ‘other water’. ‘Other water’ means drinking water which is bottled and is neither described as spring water or a recognised natural mineral water. ‘Other water’ can come from a variety of sources, e.g. groundwater and public water supplies.
Guidance for the assessment of compliance of legislation applicable to natural mineral waters, spring waters and other water (Revision 1) (2019)
Sample enforcement action (bottled water)
Reason: The detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in exceedance of the parametric value.
Celtic Pure Unlimited,
Celtic Pure: Recall of Branded Bottled Waters Due to Elevated Levels of Arsenic
The European Union (Natural Mineral Waters, Spring Waters and other Waters in Bottles or Containers) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 282 of 2016) places a responsibility on the producers of bottled water to ensure the source is protected and sets the quality and the treatment standards for the final product. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is the competent authority for enforcement of these Regulations. The EPA identifies twenty one bottled water plants across Ireland
Under the AIE Regs to request
1) List of bottled water plants, with their names and locations that fall within the FSAI regime, for natural mineral water, spring water and ‘other’ water
2) Summary report on the microbiological safety of bottled water for 2021
3) Copy of the inspection report / enforcement letter for each bottled water plant where exceedances were detected in 2020, 2021 and 2022
4) Details of any referral to competent authorities in other countries of origin where samples in Ireland tested unsatisfactory