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Surface Water Quality Monitoring for Operational Road Schemes

ECOFACT provides specific water quality sampling services to meet the monitoring requirements of operational road schemes, including private / public partnership motorway schemes. The majority of the recently constructed motorway corridors in Ireland include drainage and attenuation features to provide both contaminant removal and containment. Sampling of these discharges pre- and post treatment is often a requirement of the operational licence of these privately managed road schemes.

Road runoff has the potential to contribute significantly to water quality impacts in surface water and groundwater. Chemical and biological water quality monitoring at surface water discharges from motorways schemes has identified that over 30 polluting substances arise from motorway runoff; including Zinc, Copper, Hydrocarbons and Suspended solids which can be elevated to the point where the ecological status of the waterbody may be affected. All discharges to surface water must be analysed with respect to the requirements of the European Communities Environmental Objectives (Surface Water) Regulations (SI No 272 of 2009) and European Communities Environmental Objectives (Surface Waters) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 327 of 2012) taking account of both ecological status and chemical water quality limits.

Contaminants arising from vehicle exhaust emissions; braking-lining and tyre wear; fuels and oils have the potential to be washed from the road surface during rainfall events and are destined to reach the natural surface water catchment. ECOFACT provide the following integrated water quality survey and sampling services relating to operational phase discharges from motorways and national road schemes:

  • Individualised chemical water quality sampling of outfall discharges at discharge point and at reference / receptor sites on affected watercourses. Parameters for water quality analysis can be tailored to meet clients licencing requirements. Chemical water quality sampling can be undertaken as a ‘snap-shot’ or using flow-correlated or time-correlated composite sampling.
  • Sediment sampling analyses of outfall and interceptors for chemical parameters including petroleum range organics and total hydrocarbons, as well as heavy metals.
  • Biological water quality assessments and calculation of EPA Q-value biotic index for receiving waters downstream of any discharge.
  • Where the receiving water has been identified as a ‘high status’ waterbody (under the Water Framework Directive characterisation), or where significant ecological receptors occur (e.g. Freshwater pearl mussel) environmental and ecological monitoring of the operational phase of the road corridor may identify the requirement for additional treatment or mitigation measures.

ECOFACT environmental scientists and ecologists work in collaboration with fully accredited laboratories to provide the most cost effective and streamlined monitoring service to our road infrastructure clients.

ECOFACT sampling surveys are scheduled to accommodate time-sensitive samples (bacteriological), as well as ensuring that the appropriate equipment and storage requirements are in place for relevant parameters. We provide a rapid turn-around of sample analysis. All sampling follows standard protocols and meets EPA and Local Authority requirements.

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