Case study - Ireland Groundwater Monitoring Program

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Courtesy of The OTT Hydromet Group

To fulfill the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements, a groundwater monitoring program was established by the Environmental Protection Agency of Ireland. This program focuses on providing information to assess the environmental status of surface and groundwater bodies. Read about the program and the example installation in the Bog of the Ring.

Technology Used: OTT Orpheus Mini, OTT ITC, and OTT KL 010 Contact Gauges.

Background

  • The Environmental Protection Agency of Ireland operates 130 wells (5 with telemetry) and 24 springs with overflow measurement for the Ireland Groundwater Monitoring Program. Data collected from target monitoring sites is used to validate risk assessments and investigate long-term water level trends.
  • From analysis of the collected water level data, the Bog of the Ring was identified as a groundwater body at risk of declining water levels due to groundwater abstractions.
  • In 2009 groundwater levels were still declining and the Bog of the Ring was classified as having a poor quantitative status.
  • In 2010 actions were taken, including improvements to the public supply network and abstraction regime.
  • In 2011 abstraction volumes declined from 3,500 m3/day to 2,500 m3/day.
  • Based on this general recovery in groundwater levels the Bog of the Ring may meet a Good Quantitative Status in 2015.
Monitoring Solution
  • Sites were selected based on the conceptual understanding of hydrology and anthropogenic pressures within each groundwater body or group of bodies.

Examples of site criteria include:

  • Sites located across groundwater body or group of bodies to achieve a good spatial spread of data
  • Recharge and discharge areas
  • Areas with current or future planned abstraction
  • Assessing the groundwater contribution to rivers from poorly productive aquifers
  • Hourly/sub-hourly measurements and data recording greatly enhance the understanding of aquifer responses in dynamic aquifer systems and the behavior relating to abstraction from public supply wells.

Technical equipment to collect these data was delivered and installed by OTT Hydromet:

  • 131 monitoring locations were outfitted with OTT Orpheus Mini groundwater loggers in 2008-09, 5 of them in the Bog of the Ring
  • 5  locations were outfitted with OTT Intelligent Top Caps for remote data transmission
  • Water levels are measured and stored by the OTT Orpheus Mini every 15 minutes

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