What’s the State of Pollution in Irish Waters?

pollution in irish waters

What’s the State of Pollution in Irish Waters?

6 months ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighted real concerns about pollution in Irish waters. But what issues did they find, and what is being done to fix them? 


Ireland’s Issue with Sewage Discharge

Over 50% of Ireland’s wastewater discharges don’t meet EU standards. This wastewater harms the quality of Ireland’s rivers, lakes, and coastal waters, a worry for public health. According to the EPA report, we must act quickly to fix pollution hotspots. Dr. Tom Ryan from the EPA has spoken on this issue:

“Uisce Éireann needs to use its new investment plan for 2025 to 2029 to build wastewater systems that work for us and keep our environment safe. The plan should focus on stopping pollution in the places the EPA is worried about.”

The EPA is particularly worried about the following places:

  • 26 towns and villages that were dumping untreated sewage every day in 2023.
  • 15 big towns and cities where the wastewater treatment isn’t good enough to meet EU standards. This includes the Rigsend plant in Dublin, which handles 40% of Ireland’s city wastewater.
  • 39 areas where wastewater is hurting the rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.
  • 15 towns and cities that didn’t meet the EU standards to protect the environment.


Screenshot 2024 03 11 170954

15 towns and cities that failed the EU standards set to protect the environment


Hope with Uisce Éireann’s New Investment Plan

6-months on from the EPA’s report, some progress has been made to deal with these issues, but there are still delays that pose risks. Uisce Éireann’s new plan to invest money from 2025 to 2029 is a big chance to deal with water pollution in Ireland. The plan aims to do the following:

  • Quicken upgrades of water treatment infrastructure to limit future pollution in Irish waters.
  • Prioritise resources to fix pollution in priority areas, with some listed above.


Running until 2029, hopefully, this plan will lead to reduced pollution in Irish waters by the turn of the decade.


Southern Scientific Services vs Pollution in Ireland’s Waters

Besides treating water, it’s important to monitor water quality to see where it’s not good enough. Southern Scientific Services helps keep the Irish people and environment safe through our nationwide sampling and laboratory analysis.


Reach out to us today to learn more about how Southern Scientific Services can assist with monitoring water quality.



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