The implementation of a Characterisation Study on UWW discharges and the development of an E-Reporting tool for estimating PRTR pollutants.

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Resource or Project Abstract

In June 2011,the EPA initiated a wastewater monitoring study, to facilitate reporting by local authorities, of PRTR pollutants from EPA licensed wastewater treatment plants, nationally. The study involved sampling and analysis of waste water discharges from 11 UWWTPs over the course of 1 year. The chemical analysis on the collected waste water samples was used to determine concentrations of PRTR pollutants and other pollutants of concern which have been found in Irish water courses. 88 pollutants were analysed in the influents and effluents from the UWWTPs over 4 sampling rounds. The main outcomes from this study include:

  1. Better quality data on pollutant releases to water from WWDL facilities for PRTR reporting requirements and other purposes.

  2. Development of an innovative effective E-reporting tool which will assist local authorities in their reporting obligations to the EPA by making a reporting system that is automated, user friendly, time-saving and efficient.

  3. Contribute to important research in the wastewater sector for dissemination to third-level education institutes and to the public.

  4. Better information for the citizen through display of environmental information on EPA's website.

  5. The information and data obtained from this important study will undergo cross- organisational sharing through workshops and seminars.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Ms. Anthea Southey
Environmental Protection Agency

Mr. Patrick Geoghegan
Environmental Protection Agency

Mr. Fintan McGivern
Mott MacDonald Ireland Ltd

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att 1    EPA_Part_A_Final_Report_Effluent_Characterisation_Study_November_2012.pdf   (2.61 Mb)
Att 2    Summary_Results_for_all_Plants_Effluent_Study.xlsx   (0.31 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Southey, A. Geoghegan, P. McGivern, F.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationThe implementation of a Characterisation Study on UWW discharges and the development of an E-Reporting tool for estimating PRTR pollutants.
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifierdc8f236f-3a19-11e2-a120-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-06-25

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Southey, A. Geoghegan, P. McGivern, F.   "The implementation of a Characterisation Study on UWW discharges and the development of an E-Reporting tool for estimating PRTR pollutants. ". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-06-25)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsPRTR, pollutants, substances, priority substances, E_PRTR Regulations, EPA wastewater discharge licenses, emissions, wastewater treatment plants, UWWTPs, WWDL, E-reporting Toolset, Estimation Toolset, Effluent Characterisation Study , urban and industrial pressures, pollutant loads, emission factors/concentrations, population equivalents, PE bands, local authorities, Office of Environmental Enforcement.
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeEnvironment and Health
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe reliability, quality and completeness of data gained through SAFER-Data is intended to be used in an education or research context. These data are not guaranteed for use in operational or decision-making settings. The EPA and SAFER-Data requests an acknowledgement (in publications, conference papers, etc) from those who use data/information received with SAFER-Data. This acknowledgement should state the original creators of the data/information. An automated citation is provided below. It is not ethical to publish data/information without proper attribution or co-authorship. The data/information are the intellectual property of the collecting investigator(s). The data/information may be freely downloaded and used by all who respect the restrictions and requirements in the previous paragraphs.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Wednesday 1st June 2011 (01-06-2011)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 1st June 2011 (01-06-2011)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Sunday 30th September 2012 (30-09-2012)
Published on SAFERThursday 29th November 2012 (29-11-2012)
Date of Last EditTuesday 4th December 2012 at 15:54:43 (04-12-2012)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 29th November 2012 at 11:53:39 (29-11-2012)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
Data was captured from 11 UWWTPs of varying agglomeration capacities and with different domestic and industrial inputs. Specific details can be found in tabular format on Page 3 of the PDF version of the Report (attached to this metadata resource).

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
In order to comply with the requirements of the E-PRTR Regulations 2006; EPA wastewater discharge licenses and to determine national emission trends, EPA require all Waste Water Discharge (WWD) licensees to report on PRTR pollutants, annually. WWD licenses contain a standard clause in the effluent monitoring schedule requiring the licensee to investigate the presence of priority substances. These priority substances or pollutants have been identified at European level under the Water Framework Directive and have been prioritized for action by the setting of environmental quality standards in receiving waters. These pollutants are aligned to the PRTR Regulations and are termed ?PRTR pollutants/substances?. The current version of the Toolset was a user-friendly e-reporting estimation tool. Its purpose was to provide uWWTP operators with a means of estimating Releases to Water (and Air) of PRTR substances for which monitoring data for the site would not be readily available and initial screening had taken place. The tool was limited in that it was based on emission coefficients developed using data relating to the characterization of effluents from the Dublin City Council?s Ringsend WWTP. It was decided by the EPA that there was an essential need to carry out a further effluent monitoring and analysis at additional (smaller population) uWWTP?s in order to broaden the applicability of the model and in particular to address a wider mix of urban and industrial pressures and to develop new emission factors which ultimately will provide a more representative estimation of pollutant loads. 
Supplementary Information
An inter-organizational steering group, initiated by OEE E-Reporting and comprising representatives from OEE, Local Authorities, OEA, OCLR guided the development of the study. Thanks to all concerned.
Special thanks to the Project Consultants at MMD, to Severn Trent Laboratories (UK) and to the local authorities who provided access to their UWWTPs for sampling over the course of this study.

Further data and sampling information:

17th July 2011 (first sampling round began)

18th April 2012 (last sampling round completed). September 2012 - Final report and new E-Tool were finalised. Presented to the Board of the Environmental Protection Agency on 11/10/2012.

70 PRTR pollutants and other substances of concern in Irish water courses were analysed over 4 sampling rounds in influents and effluents from 11 selected UWWTPs. The analytical methodology was complex and highly specialised. Emission concentrations were generated from the project's analytical data and were used to develop the new model/E-Tool.

The project scientists involved in this project where

Ms Rita McEvoy and Ms Aoife Lambe, Project Scientists, Mott MacDonald Ireland Ltd, 5 Eastgate Avenue, Eastgate, Little Island, Cork.
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