Archive for February, 2017

Irish Water delivers Another Fish Kill to the River Vartry

February 27th, 2017 -- Posted in Active, Fish, Irish Water, Politics, Polution, River Basin Management, Threats, Water Directive | No Comments »

Irish Water admits to delivering to the River Vartry Lime though a maintenance blunder killing 100s of fish in the first 500 meters of the River. How this will affect the eggs deposited by the spawn in November is unknown. The event happened because a belt broke on a machine that creates a lime sludge used in lowering the PH of the water delivered to Dublin. This flooded the yard with a drain that went directly into the river. Rather than admit or alert people to the spill, or seek immediate advice from the Irish Fisheries, the employees were sent with brushes into the river to brush the signs of the spill from the bottom of the channel. This moved the spill but without flushing with more water, only succeed to pollute further down the channel.

It is this lack of care, knowledge, responsibility, integrity and safety controls that have lead us to question everything that Irish Water has to say. They are trying to use this spill, yet again, as mis-information to further their aims. They say, “see the plant is old and needs replacement”. What they do not say is that this part of the treatment works will be maintained in the new configuration and no planning has been sought for a new store of dangerous chemicals or lime sludge system.

What we want is NEW controls, NEW Systems, with safety procedures and the impossibility of this happening again. It means proper huge tanks to hold such spills. No drains that lead to the river. Procedures to carefully empty these tanks and move the poisons off-site without the possibility of reaching the river. We don’t want assurances, we want penalties, we want greater flows given to the river to dilute such instances, we want the ability to divert clean water directly from the treatment works in catastrophic disasters such as this.

What we don’t want is lies, deceit, and coverups. What we don’t want is PR that says “We are not abstracting more water”, “we will give the river the same as it has been for the past 150 years”. Then in another breath they say “it is the same as in pre-2008. We have been leaking since then and this leak is 10 Million Litre per day”, when their own charts say up it is up to 15 ML per day. We don’t want them ignoring the fact that the period of leaks coincides exactly with the period that the fish have gone from poor to excellent health (the only river in Ireland) and the water quality from poor to good.

Do not be fooled by the PR of Irish Water which is an expense that they can afford and pay for. They know what they are doing and that they are intentionally ignoring our concerns for the River Vartry. It is not that they do not believe what we say, they are fully aware of the risks, they only do not want to deal with them because it will delay them and COST MONEY. To them Water has a value and is their commodity that can be sold. Giving it to the river is letting money flow down the drain. They are a profit based company and they will not do that unless forced to do so. Protecting the Environment cost money and they see no reason to pay for it. It is someone else’s problem.

We need to make sure that they are “encouraged” to think differently about this. Delays will cost them more and they will be delayed if they do not listen to the voice of the River.