TOBIN Consulting Engineers was requested by Fingal County Council (and now Irish Water) to carry out a hydrogeological monitoring survey for the Bog of the Ring Groundwater Abstraction Scheme monitoring network in North County Dublin.
The ecological importance of the Bog of the Ring was noted in the 1970’s, when the area was designated as an Area of Scientific Interest. At this time it was considered to be of regional importance, being the only freshwater marsh in the Dublin area. It was considered to be of first rate importance as an educational area.
The Bog of the Ring site is currently designated as a proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA) by the National Parks and Wildlife (Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government).
Hydrogeological investigations on behalf of Fingal County Council commenced in North County Dublin Region in the mid 1980’s, with the aim of assessing the potential of utilizing groundwater resources as a source of drinking water to this area. In 2000, 5 No. Production Wells were drilled and tested (PW1, PW2, PW3, PW4 and PW5). The raw groundwater quality at the Bog of the Ring was naturally quite good, however, analysis indicated naturally occurring high concentrations of Iron and Manganese in the raw groundwater. Therefore, a treatment plant was constructed to treat the water to potable standards and to allow for chlorination or fluoridation of the water prior to distribution to the supply network.
The Bog of the Ring Groundwater Supply Scheme was brought into production in July 2003.
In order to assess the water levels in the very shallow organic rich topsoil and the deeper bedrock aquifer, and to ensure that the abstraction scheme is not having an adverse impact on the bog, a suite of wells (described as standpipes, trial wells and observation wells) were installed within, and immediately adjacent to, the Bog of the Ring designated area.
TOBIN has been conducting water level monitoring at the Bog of the Ring since 2004. Monitoring was undertaken on a fortnightly basis from August 2004 through to August 2006. Since 2006, bi-annual reports are prepared to detail the monitoring surveys. The reports summarise the overall monitoring database, including the most recent water levels in the bog and surrounding area, and assess the maximum sustainable yield from the bedrock aquifer without having a detrimental effect on the ecologically sensitive freshwater marsh (Bog of the Ring).
Sustainability, as one of TOBIN’s core values, has been an integral part of the project development since 2004. In order to ensure the protection and sustainable management of the existing environment, it is critical that the water levels in the bog are monitored as abstraction from the production wells is ongoing.