Loughs Agency's CatchmentCARE Team has been busy throughout the summer delivering and deploying passive samplers across the Finn catchment.
The passive sampler survey aims to detect the presence of herbicides and pesticides such as MCPA, Diazinon, Cypermethrin and Acetamiprid in the target areas. The samplers have been placed strategically at five key locations: a control site deployed in the Stranagoppoge, two Sheep Dip monitoring sites at the Reelan Bridge and Altnapaste; and forestry monitoring sites in the Upper Reelan and Cummirk, which will monitor private and public forestry, respectively. Sites were chosen based on data collected by the CatchmentCARE Team on active dipping facilities and forestry locations in the Finn.
The samplers will be deployed for 12 months. The CatchmentCARE Team will visit the sites every two weeks to collect the samples, which will be sent to T.E. Laboratories for analysis.
The team is hopeful that the results from the passive sampler will highlight the extent to which herbicides and pesticides related to sheep dip and forestry activities are impacting the aquatic environment. The nature of the passive sampling equipment allows us to continuously monitor for the presence of these chemicals, which is not possible with traditional spot sampling of water and sediments.
The use of this type of equipment to monitor pesticides in Ireland is very novel, and expressions of interest in the results have been received by several environmental regulatory bodies on the island and academic researchers.
You can find out more about the CatchmentCARE project in the Autumn 2021 Newsletter.