Contaminant movement and attenuation along pathways from the land surface to aquatic receptors – A Review

Interim Report for the STRIVE-funded project: 2007-W-CD-1-S1

Summary: STRIVE Report 56 - M. Archbold, M. Bruen, J. Deakin, D. Doody, R. Flynn, M. Kelly-Quinn, B. Misstear and U. Ofterdinger

Published: 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84095-364-0

Pages: 177

Filesize: 1,633 KB

Format: pdf


The Pathways Project aims to address the challenge of developing a better understanding of hydrological processes, water-borne contaminant fate and transport, and the subsequent impact of these contaminants on aquatic ecosystems in Irish River Basin Districts (RBDs). The project will develop a Catchment Management Tool (CMT) that may be employed by RBD management to ensure that good Water Framework Directive (WFD) status is achieved and/or maintained by 2015. CMT development requires the following project objectives to be addressed:

  • Identification of significant hydrological pathways within RBDs;
  • Quantification of flows along the identified hydrological pathways;
  • Identification of the significance of these pathways for diffuse pollutant transport and attenuation, with particular emphasis on the attenuation of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus species), and particulate matter (pathogenic micro-organisms and sediments);
  • Identification of critical source areas contributing diffuse pollutants to groundwater, surface water and relevant ecological receptors; and
  • Development of a CMT employing data collected during the study in line with the requirements of the end-user.

The project literature report aims to provide an overview of current understanding and knowledge gaps in relation to diffuse contaminant flow and attenuation pathways and the assessment of the impact of these contaminants on aquatic receptors in rivers and streams.

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