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Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility www.worldofwater.ie Module 5: Water Protection Unit1: Threats to Water Lough More Co. Monaghan.

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Presentation on theme: "Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility www.worldofwater.ie Module 5: Water Protection Unit1: Threats to Water Lough More Co. Monaghan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Module 5: Water Protection Unit1: Threats to Water Lough More Co. Monaghan

2 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Objectives of this presentation To help participants understand that some water contaminants occur naturally To increase awareness of the main sources of contamination from human activities To enable participants understand the way pollutants enter our waters To examine other threats to water

3 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility When we talk about threats to water, we need to consider threats to the quality of water and threats to quantity.

4 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Naturally present contaminants in the surrounding soil and rock have the potential to contaminate source water and cause harm to humans: Water quantity can be affected by natural forces such as droughts and floods Natural factors influencing water quality and quantity

5 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility What are the Human Threats to Water? Graphic by Gillian Cullen, DKIT

6 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Micro-organisms are one type of contaminant resulting from human activity. Bacteriological and parasitic organisms from human faeces enter water bodies via sewage treatment plants, faulty septic tanks and urban storm water. Animal manures pose a similar threat. Types of Human Contaminants Cryptosporidium E. coli

7 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen): come from faecal matter, fertilisers, treated sewage effluent, landfill sites and agriculture Nutrients in water will promote excessive growth of algae Types of Human Contaminants

8 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Dangerous Substances are contained in many everyday products used increasingly in households (e.g. medicines and cleaning products), industry, forestry, agriculture, manufacturing and services activities, mines, construction sites and water treatment works Dangerous Substances may be toxic to people, plants and animals and be harmful to our waters Types of Human Contaminants Graphics by Gillian Cullen, DKIT

9 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Hormone-disrupting Substances: known sources include pharmaceuticals, pesticides, industrial effluents, urban waste waters and agricultural run-off containing natural hormones Types of Human Contaminants Graphic by Gillian Cullen, DKIT

10 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Pollution enters the environment in two ways: - Point Source - Non-point (Diffuse) Source How does pollution enter the environment?

11 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility High organic strength effluents from agri- food industries Potentially toxic substances from metal workshops, dry cleaners, photo processors and printers Petrochemical and pharmaceutical, waste Heavy metals from mining and manufacturing Point Source Pollution (1) Industrial Discharges

12 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility

13 (2) Urban Wastewater/Sewage Sewage treatment plants treat waste discharged from homes, businesses, industries and storm-water The quality of effluent depends on: - Type of waste - Efficiency of treatment Impacts most severe in low-flow conditions Point Source Pollution Monaghan Town Wastewater Treatment Plant

14 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility (3) On-site wastewater treatment systems (OSWTS) OSWTS can create significant local contamination problems Septic systems may be unable to treat certain contaminants Some substances may actually damage the septic system Poorly maintained, improperly installed or overloaded septic systems can contaminate surface or groundwater where untreated sewage leaks out Point Source Pollution

15 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility The septic tank and percolation system Graphic by Gillian Cullen, DKIT

16 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility (4) Landfill Sites Modern landfill sites are highly engineered - Inputs now controlled - Leachate control and treatment systems - Polluter pays principle Threat posed by older, abandoned sites - Leachate from older landfill sites may have seeped into the soil and polluted groundwater - Hazardous materials pose continuing threat Point Source Pollution Landfill Site Co Monaghan

17 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility (5) Illegal dumping Point Source Pollution

18 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility (6) Farmyards Point Source Pollution

19 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Diffuse Pollution is caused when water runs over land, picks up natural and human- made pollutants and deposits these directly into surface waters or groundwater through percolation Diffuse sources will include: - Agriculture - Urban run-off - Airborne pollutants Non-point (diffuse) source pollution

20 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility (1) Agriculture Diffuse source pollution Agricultural run-off can contain fertilisers, pesticides, bacteria and nutrients from livestock and manure

21 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Pollution Sources Rural Area - Local wells at risk

22 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Urban run-off from buildings, streets and footpaths carry sediment, nutrients, bacteria, oil, metals, chemicals, pesticides, road salts, pet droppings and litter Storm water is prone to picking up contaminants on its way to where it joins waterways, drains or storm sewer system (2) Urban Run-off Diffuse source pollution

23 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Sources include: Industry (e.g. smelters emitting metals) Burning fossil fuels (acid rain) Persistent organic pollutants (e.g. pesticides and industrial chemicals and dioxins) Such pollutants can be transported across international boundaries and bio-accumulate through the food web and pose a risk to human health and the environment even in the Artic regions. (3) Airborne pollutants Diffuse source pollution

24 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Other impacts on water: Climate Change Warming of the Earths atmosphere could reduce the amount of water in lakes, rivers and streams due to reduced precipitation and increased evaporation Increases in water temperature could change the numbers and types of bacteria and algae in lakes, as well as other forms of life Extreme weather events present increased risks to contamination of water supply sources Heritage Council/Failte Ireland Report- Climate Change, Heritage and Tourism: Implications or Irelands Coast and Inland Waterways.

25 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Alien Species Zebra mussel

26 Our Water, Our Resource, Our Responsibility Discussion Understanding how or day to day activities impact on water is an essential step in protecting and improving water. Too many of us are unaware of how we contribute to water pollution. Water pollution is generally considered someone elses problem and there is often a shock factor at a pollution event yet everyone contributes to water pollution.


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