Testing a new technology for monitoring nutrients in rivers

Flow-Proportional passive sensor validation of phosphorus and nitrogen in Irish rivers (Flow-Pro)

Summary: STRIVE Report 81- Katrina Macintosh, Rachel Cassidy, Phil Jordan, Joerg Arnscheidt and Valerie McCarthy.University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.

Published: 2011

ISBN: 978-1-84095-411-1

Pages: 48

Filesize: 1,852 KB

Format: pdf


Over enrichment (eutrophication) of water bodies by nutrients is a persistent problem in Ireland. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the statutory authority in Ireland for the protection of the environment and along with other competent authorities, such as the River Basin Districts (RBDs) and the local authorities, is charged with monitoring the ongoing chemical and biological state of water bodies. This is in alignment with the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the associated Programmes of Measures (POMs). Water monitoring of phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N), the two principle chemical nutrients causing eutrophication, is undertaken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other authorities. This project reports on a method which could aid and add value to current water monitoring programmes by using a low cost, passive system that can be deployed over different periods and which collects nutrients under both low and high river flow conditions. The results from the ‘passive samplers’ were evaluated using high-resolution analysers at river sites and a number of laboratory trials.

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