Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Irish Water Supply Problems Update

For an update of the current water supply problems facing water suppliers then you should search the relvant County Councils.  For Dublin these are:
The current situation in Dublin is not that there is insufficient water in its reservoirs but rather that burst pipes have caused an increase in demand to 624 ML per day while current supply capacity via its treatment plants is 550 ML per day leaving a shortfall of >70 ML  resulting in restrictions.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ireland Facing Water Supply Crisis

Irish water suppliers are faced with further restricting water supplies throughout the country as the thaw sets in due to excessively high demand caused by burst pipes. Over 60 ML was lost last night from fractured mains in Dublin alone. Most seriously affected towns and cities include South Dublin, Cork city, Kilkenny, Athlone and Limerick.  Counties Wicklow, Kildare, Westmeath, Sligo  and Clare are also seriously affected.  For example, over 20,000 people in Tralee, Co. Kerry, are having water supplied on a phased basis only during the day as the local reservoirs are empty, with all supplies turned off during the night. Similar restictions are in place nationwide. Suppliers are also warning of curtailments to supplies as burst pipes are repaired and are calling for householders and businesses to conserve water to prevent further restrictions and interruptions in supplies.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are man-made compounds that can stay in the environment for many years and can accumulate in fatty tissue. The Stockholm Convention in 2005 added nine more compounds to the “dirty dozen”. These POPs include pesticides which are organochlorine compounds such as aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, alpha and beta hexachlorocyclohexane (also by-products), chlordecone, and lindane. Industrial chemicals such as PCBs, hexachlorobenzene (also a pesticide), hexabromobiphenyl, hexa- and heptabromodiphenyl ether (commercial octabromodiphenyl ether), pentachlorobenzene, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and its salts perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride, tetra- and pentabromodiphenyl ether (commercial pentabromodiphenyl ether), and unintentional by- products compounds: polychlorinated dioxins and furans. These highly toxic substances are released into the environment though several human activities and travel long distances via air and water. The total distribution of POPs concentrations in water around the world is unknown. For that reason, Dr. Lorena M Rios of the Department of Natural Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Superior, is guest editing a special edition of the on-line journal Water and has issued a call for papers where you can share your research results of these POPs in water and related research in order to make available information about their global environment transport. Closing date 30th April, 2011.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Cotswold Canals Partnership

Canals throughout Europe are being recognized as an important asset after 100 plus year of neglect.  The Cotswold Canals Partnership is in the process of restoring the Cotswold Canals i.e. the Stroud Water Navigation (12km) and the Thames and Severn Canal (46km). Once completed England’s two greatest rivers, the Thames and the Severn, will once again be connected after falling into disrepair almost seventy years ago.  The project website is full of engineering and conservation details, wonderful photographs documenting the work as it is being undertaken, and much more. Link

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Drinking Water and Health: A Collection of New Research Papers

A wide range of exciting research papers have been published in Dinking Water and Health a special edition of the on-line International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  edited by Professor N.F. Gray from Trinity College Dublin. Leading researchers from around the world have contributed papers.

New Perspectives in Monitoring Drinking Water Microbial Quality Mª José Figueras and Juan J. Borrego

Human Health Risk Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in Water: Issues and Challenges Ahead Arun Kumar, Biao Chang and Irene Xagoraraki

Inadequately Treated Wastewater as a Source of Human Enteric Viruses in the Environment Anthony I. Okoh, Thulani Sibanda and Siyabulela S. Gusha

Water Microbiology. Bacterial Pathogens and Water  João P. S. Cabral

Original Research Papers:
An Assessment of the Interindividual Variability of Internal Dosimetry during Multi-Route Exposure to Drinking Water Contaminants  Mathieu Valcke and Kannan Krishnan

Determinants of Use of Household-level Water Chlorination Products in Rural Kenya, 2003–2005 Amy E. DuBois, John A. Crump, Bruce H. Keswick, Laurence Slutsker, Robert E. Quick, John M. Vulule and Stephen P. Luby

Determinants of Arsenicosis Patients’ Perception and Social Implications of Arsenic Poisoning through Groundwater in Bangladesh M. Mizanur Rahman Sarker

Different Length (DL) qPCR for Quantification of Cell Killing by UV-induced DNA Damage Knut Rudi, Irina Hagen, Bente Carina Johnsrud, Guro Skjefstad and Ingun Tryland

Factors Associated to Endemic Dental Fluorosis in Brazilian Rural Communities Efigênia F. Ferreira, Andréa Maria D. Vargas, Lia S. Castilho, Leila Nunes M. Velásquez, Lucia M. Fantinel and Mauro Henrique N. G. Abreu

Incidence and Distribution of Microfungi in a Treated Municipal Water Supply System in Sub-Tropical Australia Noel B. Sammon, Keith M. Harrower, Larelle D. Fabbro and Rob H. Reed

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dublin Water Supplies Restricted Due to Cold Weather

Disruptions to water supplies to homes and businesses supplied by the greater Dublin water reservoirs, which includes the four Dublin local authorities and parts of Wicklow and Kildare, are set to continue until next week at least.  This is due to low levels in supply reservoirs caused by unprecedented demand caused by the very cold weather during the past two weeks .  With another cold spell forecast for the next six days many supply zones will be cut off from 7pm to 7am  while others will be subject to pressure reductions leading to a possible loss of water, especially to storage tanks.  The cuts have been rotated amongst the 19 City supply zones and those serving surburbs and outlying towns.  However, many businesses, especially restaurants and cafes are finding it hard to survive.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The American water Works Association has launched an on-line resource for consumers. DrinkTap.org provides simple but accurate information about a wide range of drinking water problems of concern to consumers in the US. What is interesting about the site is it encourages consumers to start a dialogue with their water utility company and even suggests questions to ask. This is a site well worth checking out and provides an intermediate step between the consumer and their main technical site. Link

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Constructed Wetlands Association

The CWA is a professional organization that represents all those interested in design, constructing or researching constructed wetlands. Set up in 1999 by some of the early researchers in the field, such as Paul Cooper from WRc, it runs CPD courses, meetings, conferences as well as accreditation for those who want a career in this popular area. It also has a very useful website with a wide range of online resources. As the end of the 2010 draws near then membership of the CWA for the coming year would be a useful as well as enjoyable Christmas present for yourself. More details at:  http://www.constructedwetland.co.uk/

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

TCD Postgraduate Open Day 2011

Trinity College Dublin
Copyright Tigroney

There will be a chance to meet academics, researchers and taught course co-ordinators on Thursday, 27 January 2011 from 4pm - 7pm in the historic Exam Hall in Trinity College Dublin.  All the schools and disciplines will be represented and you will have the chance to discuss postgraduate opportunities. The Water Technology Research Group will be represented so come along and meet us. Link

Get involved via facebook

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ireland's Cold Weather Causes Water Shortages

Temperature plunge to -14 degree C in exposed areas
The extremely cold weather currently affecting Ireland has resulted in a massive increase in water demand, especially at night as people leave their taps running to prevent water pipes from freezing.  The days of intensely cold weather has increased demand by over 35% with many smaller supplies running dangerously short.  Householders are being urged to conserve water to avoid the prolonged water restrictions that followed a similar cold spell in January 2010, when water had to be rationed in Dublin for several months afterwards until reservoirs were sufficiently replenished.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trinity College Dublin Closed Due to Cold Weather

Copyright Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College has been severely affected by the cold weather and will be closed this weekend to staff, students and visitors.  It is likely that activities will be significantly reduced over the coming week. 

Please check http://www.tcd.ie/  for updates.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Postgraduate Research Opportunities - Update

We are approaching that time of year when increasing numbers are contacting College about the possibilities of doing postgraduate research towards either an MSc or PhD.

We are very happy to encourage prospective postgraduates to apply to the University to carry out research with the Water Technology Research Group. While we do not have any funded places available at the present time (these are widely advertised when they become available) we still encourage self-financing students and those who can obtain funding from their employer, home Institution and Government.

In the first instance please go to the link at our Graduate Studies Office and read all the terms and conditions that apply to potential applicants. You will notice that all applications are now on-line and are centralized for Ireland.  However, before making a formal application for a higher degree you should first discuss possible projects with us and funding implications. Please contact me at nfgray@tcd.ie.

Details of funding available within Ireland can be accessed at via the Graduate Studies Office website.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Launch of SFI Principal Investigator Programme 2011

The SFI Principal Investigator Programme call will be launched in December and SFI is hosting a webinar to outline the main points, including submission deadlines, of the 2011 call on Friday, December 3rd 2010 at 11.00 a.m. which will last an hour.  The webinar will also include an overview of the new SFI grants and awards management system (SESAME) through which applicants to the 2011 call must submit their proposals. To register for the webinar, please click on the link below.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar. Senior postdocs interested in applying for this programme in association with the Water Technology Research Group should contact me as soon as possible. Webinar link:  https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/465285563