Investigation underway into suspected pollution in Loughmore Canal

Loughmore Canal, Raheen

LIMERICK City and County Council says it currently has a live investigation underway regarding suspected pollution in the Loughmore Canal.

Green Party councillor Seán Hartigan asked at this Monday’s Metropolitan District meeting for an update on ongoing issues with discharges to the Loughmore Canal. Cllr Hartigan also wanted an update on the engagement to date with those responsible, awareness among businesses in Raheen Business Park with the issues and involvement of the IDA and EPA in finding a solution.

Director of Planning, Environment, and Place-making, Vincent Murray, said that following a complaint in June 2021, a live investigation is underway. The complaint, he explained, related to a suspected pollution event from the storm sewer to the Loughmore Canal.

In response, council members were informed, Limerick City and County Council initiated an investigation into this new complaint as required under the terms of reference of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977.

“The investigation has been undertaken with the cooperation of IDA Ireland, the Estate Manager of the Raheen Industrial Estate. The scope of this investigation includes the examination of all businesses discharging to the IDA storms sewer from the business park and other businesses and connections on the R526,” Mr Murray commented.

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“Extensive desktop studies, site surveys, dye testing, and CCTV surveys have been undertaken. Additionally substantial sampling was undertaken by Limerick City and County Council at the discharge point at the canal. Concurrently the IDA also carried out sampling and flow monitoring at multiple locations within the business park. Out of hours sampling was also made available to the landowners to capture unusual events outside of business hours.”

Mr Murray went onto say that, throughout the investigation, meetings have been scheduled and communications issued to the EPA, IDA, and landowners on a regular basis to ensure all stakeholders are aware of the investigation process.