Archive for the 'Ecology' Category

Irish Water Upgrade of the Vartry Treatment Works threatens the River Vartry

May 12th, 2016 -- Posted in Active, Ecology, History, Irish Water, River Basin Management | No Comments »

Thank you everyone for you concentrated effort to fight for River Vartry. We have seen 11 independent Observations against the Planning application so far. Tomorrow we will see if there are a few more that made it under the wire as the date for submissions was Thursday the 12th of May.
The summary of most of the Objections was the call for an Independent Environmental Impact Assessment rather than Irish Water saying “Believe us, we don’t need an EIA!”. The fact that they admit in their application that they will damage the River both in Construction and Operation was not overlooked and certainly affected the overall trust in Irish Water.

Many of the Objections pointed out the irresponsible and flawed science use to say that the pollutants would be within EU specifications. Irish Water claimed that the new discharge was 35% of the flow of the river, when there is no records that have ever been taken, showing what is the flow in the river. This was a blanket figure, not taking into account the difference in flow during drought and flood. Without a comprehensive study of flows in the river and figures of discharge vs. flow during the whole year, taking into account of global warming, you cannot take these figures seriously.

What was interesting was the tone of the objections from the Riparian Owners. They used words like “insist” and “demand” and are exercising their Riparian Rights and Responsibilities. This is an important change as Irish Water cannot abstract more water or pollute without the full consent of all of the Riparian Owners according to Common Law. This attitude is supported by the Office of Public Works in their publishing a page on Riparian Rights and Responsibilities. They state “You have the responsibility to pass on flow without obstructing of polluting the water otherwise affecting the rights of the owners downstream.” The Treatment Works has this responsibility to us. We are willing to go as far as it takes, even to the High Court, to defend our Rights before we will allow the River to be destroyed.

This kind of protection of a River by the Riparian Owners is unique in Ireland, in history, and possibly in other countries. We are committed to seeing that our treasured resource of the Vartry River is kept safe for future generations, and would like to feel that Wicklow County Council and Irish Water would step back and think about the importance of this to all of us, before putting 2.5 times the pollution into the river and completely cutting it off from its source.

River Vartry Survey

May 6th, 2016 -- Posted in Active, Ecology, Fish, History, River Basin Management | No Comments »

The Vartry Angling and Conservation Club has been instrumental in getting experts from the UK, The Wild Trout Trust, to travel over and survey our River. We can not thanks them enough for the most comprehensive study of the Vartry River since St. Patrick stepped out of his boat and onto the banks of the River Dee, as it was once known. After my extensive all the historical documents on the River, this will be the one looked at in 200 years from now.

Thank you Luke for your perseverance to making this happen.

The full document is attached here and can be read and studied. River Vartry Survey The purpose originally was to look at the possible reconstruction of the Weir at Ashford, but we can now follow this in our future efforts to improve and keep safe the river. Their comments on the Weir should be followed and efforts should be made to make the Weir look nice, but without reconstructing it and following the guidelines indicated here.

Environmental Issues from Irish Water Planning Permission for Roundwood Treatment Works

April 21st, 2016 -- Posted in Active, Ecology, Fish, Irish Water, River Basin Management, Threats | No Comments »

It has been a long time since there has been a need for the River Vartry Protection Society to meet together as there has not been such a situation as we have now that threatens our River Varty like this. At this point there is a planning application that needs answering by the 12th of May and has me very frightened as to what might happen to the river.

We are having a meeting in the Ashford Community Hall at 8:00 pm on Tuesday 26th which will be attended by the River Vartry Protection Society (hopefully most of the Riparian Owners will be present), the Vartry Angling and Conservation Club, and the Friends of the Murrough primarily. There will be members of the public as well, I presume. If you know someone that should be there, perhaps living along the river, please pass this information along to them.

We have many issues with this planning application 16363 in the name of Irish Water for Strategic Infrastructure costing 250 Million, as we believe it must have an Environment Impact Study and should really be in the hands of An Bord Pleanala since it crosses both Wicklow Council and Dublin Corp.

The main issues are:

Irish Water believe they do not need a EIA because the Murrough is 9 KM away, only linked by the River Vartry. (They ignore the polution they WILL cause to the River Vartry (they admit to this in their application).
1- They are stopping all leaks from the current works which supplies 4 Million Litres a day to the river.
2- They want to increase the damaging discharge from 1700 m3 per day to 4000 m3 per day and 4 locations into the River rather than currently 2.
3- The discharge will be worse than it was before with more contaminants due to more efficient cleaning than before.
4- Their consultant quotes “The discharge comprises 35% of the daily flow (as it is today) of the River Vartry at the discharge location. Therefore a potential localised impact on the water quality within the River Vartry at this site is anticipated. This impact could be measurable up to the point of the next significant inflow to the River Vartry approximately 300m downstream from the discharge. However…” They think the river has anough assimilative capacity to absorb their pollution. The inflow they talk of has negligible water added to the river in the dry season.
5- I don’t believe that this is even accurate as they intend to have 0% loss of water to the river, so the 35% will be more like 100% when they stop the leaks.
6- They state that it is an EU protected river, but completely ignore it in all their assessments as to impact they will cause.
7- They quote 2008 figures for fish and don’t admit to the fact that it is one of the better rivers in Ireland and very very important.

The Murrough may be affected by silt and potential spills from the construction (they say) and could be subject to oil or other spillages but they will TRY to mitigate this. There is no authority inspecting or supervising that they will actually mitigate this happening and their procedures 100% bullet proof.

I will have the draft objection circulated before the meeting.

It would be nice if you could make it. Tea and Cake and good company as well.

Vartry River Fish Kill

July 4th, 2012 -- Posted in Active, Ecology, Fish, Polution, Threats | No Comments »

In June 2012 there was a Fish Kill on the River Vartry which is being investigated by the Fisheries and reported on the website of Wicklow County Council. The cause has not yet been determined.

On Thursday the 28th we found a large 35 cm probably Sea Trout (or possibly Salmon) dead on the edge of the River. At first I thought that this was a positive sign since the fish seemed fully healthy and I presumed that death was caused by the flood the night before. While it is a positive sign to see such size fish in the river at this time, the negative issue of why and how such an event can happen is very upsetting.

I hope that we can have news soon of just how this happened and how it can be prevented in the future as the Fisheries work hard to get to the bottom of this.
Again “hats off” to the Fisheries for their diligence and continued support of the River Vartry which has taken it back from the brink to a good condition to host such fine fish. We can’t afford to loose them, but we hope that it is a preventable event that will not occur again and that we can recover from this.

River Vartry Protection Society Meeting

October 1st, 2009 -- Posted in Ecology | No Comments »

The River Vartry Protection Society welcomes its members and selected guests to the first meeting of the Society at Hunters Hotel, tonight Thursday the 1st of October at 8 PM. All members are welcome to an evening of meeting, discussion and talk about the future, the past and the present efforts to protect the River.

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