Changing Water conditions at L. Allen
- Links to Water Quality pages -

This page simply provides a quick link to all topics to do with Lough Allen’s water quality. Unfortunately, over recent years this has deteriorated somewhat. We are not sure what is the cause of this or how serious it is. The articles listed below have been prepared over different periods and reflect a different degree of understanding of what is going on. At present, we believe the water is getting more polluted — but will be very pleased to report any future improvements.

Lough Allen was traditionally an oligotrophic (or dystrophic) lake, acidic and with a low level of nutrients. This reduced the risk of plants and bacteria growing out of control. Unfortunately it has now been reclassified as mesotrophic, i.e reasonably rich in nutrients. No natural cause has brought this about — unless, possibly, the ‘rain’! There are worrying signs that this eutrophication may be coming from man-made sources, particularly detergents.

Our work, on this site, primarily relates to Lough Allen’s superb Biodiversity. But any pollution that is allowed to develop may destroy this and will, certainly, destroy the enjoyment of the lake. We only became aware of this problem in 2008 though we had been engaged in surveying all parts of the lake for several years before that. It is, presently, getting worse year on year and is now visible in all areas under certain conditions. The articles below are cited in chronological order.







Initial Report on Visible Pollution

A detailed preliminary report and analysis of unusual foaming, algal and bacterial growth, and an evaluation of likely causes and sources. (2011)

Extreme Pollution Examples

This page may not always be live. If it is you will see some of the worst instances of foaming and contamination observed around the lake. We believe that this is new, not natural, and reflects changes suddenly imposed upon the lake. (But, to be fair, not everyone shares our views!) (April 2011)

What to do...

In 2012 a significant Bloom of Blue-green algae occurred and released toxins leading to the death of 2 dogs at the north end of L. Allen, and the erection of ‘No Swim’ notices by Leitrim County Council. This document reports these facts but also concentrates on how to respond to the changes (which we now fully regard as pollution) and restore L. Allen to the condition it was in prior to 2008

(WaterLog 2012/13)

Water Quality Issues 2014...

2013: Day by day reports on pollution observed during routine Biological Surveys of the Lake. BioDiversity records are reported in LABlog2013

From 2014 onwards Water Quality Issues are reported through our normal Biodiversity Log. It was time consuming to maintain 2 Logs and we are assuming things were getting better!

Daubenton Bat Species Study

A routine biodiversity report into one of L. Allen’s significant animal species. Here, for the first time, we outline a theory relating increasing pollution to a decrease in numbers of a species. This is very hypothetical as of yet. (The Image shows a Daubenton’s Bat feeding just above heavily contaminated water leaving Lough Allen via The Sluices during Summer 2012)

EPA Dialogue draft report

In early 2013 we exchanged documents with the EPA expressing our concern regarding the visible changes we were observing in Lough Allen. We outline our submissions and their responses here.

Visual Monitoring Quantification techniques (in Preparation)

Following the above exchange we undertook to prepare some standard methodologies for quantifying visual changes we (and others) may observe in water quality. This is because we feel that technical survey methods failed to detect this escalating problem and are (by definition) probably not fit for this particular task. Observing visual changes and changes in plants and animals, may provide a more sensitive monitoring system — one with which members of the public may be able to get involved.