From: Associated Press
Published June 15, 2005 12:00 AM

Thirty Percent of Ireland's Rivers Polluted with Sewage or Fertilizer, Study Finds

DUBLIN, Ireland — Three out of every 10 Irish rivers are polluted, chiefly from sewage or agricultural fertilizer, the government's Environmental Protection Agency has found.

A survey of Ireland's 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) of rivers and streams, 500 lakes, 69 tidal waters and 300 groundwater sources found the worst pollution in rivers, 30 percent of which were rated as slightly or moderately polluted.

It found that less sewage was getting into rivers but more fertilizer was seeping into them -- a particularly sensitive issue in rural Ireland. The European Union is prosecuting Ireland for failing to enact EU controls on using fertilizer; Irish farming organizations insist such controls would destroy their livelihoods.

The EPA survey found much better quality in Ireland's lakes, 91 percent of which were deemed in satisfactory shape. However it found a particular problem in the Irish midland lakes, where pig farms were causing a deterioration in water quality.

Source: Associated Press


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