Just 21 rivers in Ireland are totally unpolluted, according to a new report from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The six-year survey of our waterways says we’ve failed to meet targets for improving water quality.
But the number of ‘badly polluted’ waterways has been reduced from 19 to six.
EPA spokesperson Andy Fanning says water pollution in rural areas has a number of causes, “inappropriate forestry from previous decades, some agriculture causing problems and then there would be some locations where human activity such as septic tanks are causing issues here, so it can be one or more of these in any given case that’s causing the problem.”
The survey reveals we’ve failed to meet the target of improving water quality by 13%.
91% of groundwater sources were found to be good quality, but less than a third of estuaries were considered clean.
But Mr Fanning says some progress has been made, ” we’re seeing that the worst pollution, the serious pollution has reduced down to a very low level, we’ve only got less than 20 kilometres of seriously polluted waterway in the country but on the flipside of that is we’re seeing the pristine environment has again been degraded.”