EPA to fund research on Vartry Algal Blooms

18th July 2014

Independent Councillor Jennifer Whitmore has welcomed funding under the EPA’s Research Programme 2014-2020 into the algal blooms that occur in Vartry reservoir, which lead to water shortages in the Greystones and Delgany areas.

“In April, high concentrations of algae in the Vartry Reservoir blocked the filters and caused a reduction in treatment capacity. This resulted in major disruptions to residential and commercial water supplies in North County Wicklow. This was the second year running that the issue occurred and almost shut down the town for a couple of weeks. We cannot let this happen for a third year in a row.

“Algal blooms are seasonal and are influenced by weather, temperature and nutrient availability. This means that in many cases, if you can identify what causes these blooms, you can predict when they may occur. This information is critical in managing the water system and ensuring that the disruptions to water supply are avoided.

“I’m delighted to see that the EPA is providing funding of €150,000 to investigate these blooms and to determine how they can be managed. This research will hopefully provide the answers that we need to allow for these algal blooms to be predicted and prevented so our towns don’t need to be shut down every spring.”