In 1998 water quality standards were set for phosphorus levels in rivers and lakes with the introduction of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977 (Water Quality Standards for Phosphorus) Regulations, 1998. All local authorities had to prepare a plan to achieve the standards by 2007. This involved preparation of a Measures Report setting out the current water quality status, specific measures, targets and timescales for implementation of the plan. Current good water quality has to be preserved, while poor water quality has to be improved.
Updates in the form of Implementation Reports are presented to the EPA on a by-annual basis.
A Phosphorus Regulations Implementation Report 2004 was prepared by Leitrim County Council in Dec 2004 with a comprehensive list of targets, actions and timeframes for 2005 to 2007. This programme of work was submitted to the EPA.
Some of the Measures were as follows:
- Phosphorus removal and upgrade of Urban Wastewater Treatment Plants
- Promotion of adequate household sewage treatment systems
- Promotion of responsible farming practices
- Promotion of responsible forestry practices
- Increasing water protection awareness
- Participation in catchment management committees where shared responsibility of all stakeholders is encouraged
- Issue and review of Licences to discharge to waters and sewers
- General enforcement of Water Pollution Act
- Farm surveys of river catchment areas needing improvement in water quality
- Investigation of unauthorised urban discharges to waters and sewers
- Rehabilitation of landfills at Mohill and Carrick on Shannon
- Control of waste from sheep dip tanks
- Control of cattle and pig slurries
- Environmental control on proposed large development and Marinas
- Control of sewage discharges from boats and provision of pump-out facilities at private marinas
- Provision of Urban Wastewater Treatment Plants in unsewered Villages.
- Phosphate removal from all Urban Waste Water Treatment Plants
- Measures to reduce storm overflows at UWWTP
- Correct wrong sewer connections
- Liase with Cavan, Roscommon and Fermanagh Local Authorities regarding catchment management issues
- Liase with Waterways Ireland re sewage discharges from cruisers navigation on the Shannon and Shannon Erne Waterway
- Liase with EPA re IPC Licences