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The Water Framework Directive (Classification, Priority Substances and Shellfish Waters) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2015 No. 351

Environmental Protection

The Water Framework Directive (Classification, Priority Substances and Shellfish Waters) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

Made

2nd October 2015

Coming into operation

23rd October 2015

The Department of the Environment being a Department designated (1) for the purposes of section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 (2) in relation to the Environment acting in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by that section and by Article 5 of the Water (Northern Ireland) Order 1999(3) makes the following Regulations:

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Water Framework Directive (Classification, Priority Substances and Shellfish Waters) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 and shall come into operation on 23 October 2015.

Interpretation

2.—(1) In these Regulations—

“the 2003 Regulations” means the Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003(4);

“biological boundary value” in respect of biological quality elements means the classification boundaries for ecological status as set out in Annex V of the Water Framework Directive and as agreed following the EU intercalibration exercise(5);

“biota taxon” means a particular aquatic taxon within the taxonomic rank “sub-phylum”, “class” or their equivalent;

“cyprinid waters” means a type of lake or river which, in the Department’s judgement, would support a sustainable fish population dominated by cyprinid species;

Directive 2009/90/EC” means Commission Directive 2009/90/EC laying down, pursuant to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, technical specifications for chemical analysis and monitoring of water status(6);

“existing obligations” means the obligations (on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy) under Directive 2008/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(7) (“the original Directive”) before it was amended by Directive 2013/39/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(8) including, in particular, the achievement of good surface water chemical status in relation to the substances and the associated environmental quality standards listed in the original Directive;

“matrix” means a compartment of the aquatic environment, namely water, sediment or biota;

“mixing zone” means an area designated in accordance with Article 4 of the Directive;

“river basin district” has the same meaning as in the 2003 Regulations and, for the purposes of these regulations, shall include “international river basin district” as also defined in the 2003 Regulations;

“river basin management plan” means a plan prepared in accordance with regulation 12 of the 2003 Regulations;

“salmonid waters” means a type of lake or river which, in the Department’s judgement, would support a sustainable fish population dominated by salmonid species;

“shellfish waters” means any shellfish water classified under the 2003 Regulations;

“the Department” means the Department of the Environment;

“the Directive” means Directive 2008/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy(9) as amended by Directive 2013/39/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(10);

“the Water Framework Directive” means Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a Framework for Community Action in the Field of Water Policy(11) as last amended by Commission Directive 2014/101/EU(12).

(2) Any word or expression used in these Regulations and the Directive, the Water Framework Directive, Directive 2009/90/EC, or the 2003 Regulations and not otherwise defined in these Regulations shall have the same meaning for the purposes of these Regulations as it has for the purposes of the applicable Directive or Regulations.

(3) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954(13) applies to these Regulations as it applies to an Act of the Assembly.

Typology and Environmental Standards

3.—(1) The Department, in exercising the functions listed in paragraph (2) must in respect of the rivers, lakes, transitional waters and coastal waters—

(a)assign a Type or Types in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 1; and

(b)apply environmental standards and biological boundary values to each river, lake, transitional water and coastal water, or part thereof, according to its assigned Type or Types, in accordance with Part 2 and Part 3 of Schedule 1.

(2) The functions listed in paragraph (1) are—

(a)analysis and review of the characterisation of each river basin district in accordance with regulation 5(2) of the 2003 Regulations;

(b)monitoring of the status of the water environment in each river basin district in accordance with regulation 9 of the 2003 Regulations;

(c)setting of environmental objectives for each body of surface water in each river basin district in accordance with regulation 11(1)(b) of the 2003 Regulations; and

(d)preparing programmes of measures to achieve those objectives in accordance with regulation 11(1)(b) of the 2003 Regulations.

Environmental standards for priority substances

4.  Without prejudice to existing obligations and subject to regulation 5, the Department must apply the environmental quality standards set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1for the priority substances numbered 1-33 in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 to surface waters or parts thereof.

5.  For the priority substances numbered 2, 5, 15, 20, 22, 23 and 28 in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1, with the aim of achieving good surface water chemical status in relation to those substances by 22 December 2021 by means of the programme of measures included in the river basin management plans (or an update of them), the environmental quality standards that apply are those applicable on the dates set out in column 4 of that Table. For all other priority substances numbered 1-33, the environmental quality standard set out in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 applies from the date these Regulations come into force.

6.  Without prejudice to existing obligations, for the priority substances numbered 34 to 45 in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1, with the aim of achieving good surface water chemical status in relation to those substances by 2027 and preventing deterioration in the chemical status of surface water bodies in relation to those substances, the Department must—

(a)from 22 December 2018, apply the environmental quality standards set out in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 for those substances;

(b)by 22 December 2018, establish and submit to the Commission a supplementary monitoring programme and a preliminary programme of measures covering those substances;

(c)establish a final programme of measures for those substances by 22 December 2021; and

(d)make the final programme of measures fully operational as soon as possible after 22 December 2021, and not later than 22 December 2024.

7.  Subject to regulation 8—

(a)for the priority substances numbered 5, 15, 16, 17, 21, 28, 34, 35, 37, 43 and 44 in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 the Department must apply the biota environmental quality standards laid down in column 9 of that Table;

(b)for all other substances numbered in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1, the Department must apply the water environmental quality standards in accordance with that Table.

8.—(1) Subject to the conditions in paragraphs (2) and (3), the Department may, in relation to one or more categories of surface water, apply an environmental quality standard for a matrix other than the matrix specified in column 9 of Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 or, if applicable, an environmental quality standard for a biota taxon other than those specified in that Table.

(2) The first condition is that the Department applies either—

(a)the relevant environmental quality standard laid down in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1; or

(b)if there is no relevant environmental quality standard laid down in that Table for the alternative matrix or biota taxon, an environmental quality standard that offers at least the same level of protection as that provided by an environment quality standard established for a matrix or biota taxon—

(i)in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1; and

(ii)according to technical knowledge and expert judgement, is equivalent to the alternative matrix or biota taxon.

(3) The second condition is that the Department’s method of analysis for the chosen matrix or biota taxon fulfils the minimum performance criteria laid down in Article 4 of Directive 2009/90/EC. Where those criteria are not met for any matrix, the monitoring must be carried out using the best available techniques not entailing excessive costs and the method of analysis for the relevant substance must perform at least as well as that available for the matrix specified in regulation 7.

Monitoring

9.  Where a potential risk to, or via, the aquatic environment from acute exposure to one of the substances listed in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 has been identified as a result of measured or estimated environmental concentrations or emissions, and where a biota or sediment environmental quality standard is being applied, the Department must—

(a)monitor the surface water; and

(b)where such environmental quality standards have been established, apply the MAC-EQS laid down in that Table.

10.  Where, pursuant to Article 5 of Directive 2009/90/EC, the calculated mean value of a measurement, when carried out using the best available technique not entailing excessive costs, is referred to as “less than limit of quantification”, and the limit of quantification of that technique is above the environmental quality standard, the Department must not use the result for the substance for the purposes of assessing the overall chemical status of that water body.

11.  For substances for which an environmental quality standard for sediment and/or biota is applied, the Department must, unless regulation 12 applies, monitor the substance in the relevant matrix at least once every year, unless technical knowledge and expert judgement justify another interval.

12.  The Department may monitor the substances numbered 5, 21, 28, 30, 35, 37, 43 and 44 in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 less intensively than is required for priority substances under regulation 11 and Annex V to the Water Framework Directive, provided that the monitoring—

(a)is representative and a statistically robust baseline is available regarding the presence of those substances in the aquatic environment; and

(b)takes place for each of the substances at least every three years, unless technical knowledge and expert judgment justify another interval.

13.—(1) On the basis of monitoring of surface water status carried out in accordance with Article 8 of the Water Framework Directive, the Department must conduct a long-term trend analysis of concentrations of those priority substances listed in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 that tend to accumulate in sediment and/or biota, giving particular consideration to the substances numbered 2, 5, 6, 7, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 26, 28, 30, 34, 35, 36, 37, 43 and 44.

(2) The Department must take measures aimed at ensuring, subject to Article 4 of the Water Framework Directive, that such concentrations do not significantly increase in sediment and/or relevant biota.

14.  The Department must carry out monitoring under regulation 13(1) in sediment and/or biota so as to provide sufficient data for a reliable long-term trend analysis. The monitoring should take place every three years, unless the Department’s technical knowledge and expert judgement justify another interval.

Watch List

15.—(1) The Department must, within the deadlines set out in paragraph (3), monitor each substance in the watch list produced by the Commission (14) under Article 8b (1) and (2) of the Directive.

(2) The monitoring referred to in paragraph (1) must be carried out—

(a)at selected monitoring stations over at least a 12-month period; and

(b)in accordance with any Commission guidance published for these purposes under Article 8b of the 2008 Directive.

(3) The Department must select at least one monitoring station.

(4) The 12-month monitoring period must—

(a)for each substance included in the watch list as first established by Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/495(15), commence on 24th October 2015; and

(b)for each substance included in subsequent lists, commence within six months of its inclusion in the list.

(5) In selecting representative monitoring stations, and the monitoring frequency and timing for each substance, the Department must—

(a)take into account the use patterns and possible occurrence of the substance; and

(b)ensure that monitoring is carried out at each station at least once per year.

16.  The Department may opt not to undertake additional monitoring under the watch list mechanism for a particular substance if—

(a)the Department has sufficient, comparable, representative and recent monitoring data for the substance from existing monitoring a programmes or studies; and

(b)the substance was monitored using a methodology that satisfies the requirements of the technical guidelines developed by the Commission in accordance with Article 8b(5) of the Directive.

17.—(1) The Department must report the results of the monitoring carried out pursuant to regulation 15 to the Commission in accordance with the following deadlines—

(a)for the first watch list, within 21 months of the establishment of the watch list; and every 12 months thereafter while the substance is kept on the list.

(b)for each substance included in subsequent lists, within 21 months of the inclusion of the substance in the watch list, and every 12 months thereafter while the substance is kept on the list.

(2) The reports referred to in paragraph (1) must include information on the representativeness of the monitoring stations and monitoring strategy.

Intermittent Standards

18.  The Department must apply the standards for intermittent discharges specified in Part 4 of Schedule 1.

Standards for shellfish waters

19.—(1) The Department must apply the standards for shellfish waters specified in Table 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 5 and endeavour to respect the guideline standard for salinity in Table 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 5.

(2) The Department must endeavour to respect the guideline values and comments specified in Part 2 of Schedule 5.

Classification of surface waters

20.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Department must classify each body of surface water identified for the purposes of regulation 5 of the 2003 Regulations according to its ecological status, or its ecological potential as the case may be, and its chemical status.

(2) The Department must classify—

(a)the ecological status of bodies of surface water in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 2;

(b)the chemical status of bodies of surface water in accordance with Part 2 of Schedule 2;

(c)the ecological potential of heavily modified and artificial bodies of surface water in accordance with Part 3 of Schedule 2.

(3) The results of classification in accordance with paragraph (1) and paragraph (2) must be reported within each river basin management plan as follows—

(a)a map for the relevant river basin district illustrating the classification of the ecological status for each body of surface water, colour-coded in accordance with Table 1 of Schedule 4;

(b)a map for the relevant river basin district illustrating the classification of the ecological potential of each body of surface water designated as artificial or heavily modified, colour-coded in accordance with Table 2 of Schedule 4;

(c)a black dot on the relevant map produced under sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) to indicate each body of surface water where failure to achieve good status or good ecological potential is due to non-compliance with one or more of the environmental quality standards that have been established for relevant specific pollutants;

(d)a map for the relevant river basin district illustrating the classification of chemical status for each body of surface water, colour-coded in accordance with Table 3 of Schedule 4.

(4) The overall status of bodies of surface water must be determined in accordance with Part 5 of Schedule 2.

(5) The Department must review the classification required by paragraph (1) at least once in every six years in accordance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.

Classification of Groundwater

21.—(1) The Department must classify each body of groundwater identified for the purposes of regulation 5 of the 2003 Regulations according to its chemical status in accordance with regulation 9 of the Groundwater Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009(16).

(2) The Department must classify each body of groundwater identified for the purposes of regulation 5 of the 2003 Regulations according to its quantitative status in accordance with Schedule 3.

(3) The results of classification in accordance with paragraph (1) and paragraph (2) must be reported within each river basin management plan as follows—

(a)a map for the relevant river basin district illustrating the classification of the chemical status for each body of groundwater, colour-coded in accordance with Table 4 of Schedule 4;

(b)a map for the relevant river basin district illustrating the classification of the quantitative status for each body of groundwater, colour-coded in accordance with Table 5 of Schedule 4.

(4) The Department must review the classification required by paragraphs (1) and (2) at least once in every six years in accordance with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive.

Designation of Mixing Zones

22.—(1) The Department may designate mixing zones adjacent to points of discharge.

(2) Concentrations of one or more substances listed in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 may exceed the relevant standards within mixing zones if they do not affect the compliance of the rest of the body of surface water with those standards.

(3) The extent of any mixing zone must be restricted to the proximity of the point of discharge and must be proportionate, having regard to concentrations of pollutants at the point of discharge and any conditions contained within the discharge consent or permit.

(4) The Department must include information about designated mixing zones in river basin management plans. The information must include a description of:

(a)the approaches and methodologies applied to define mixing zones;

(b)measures taken with a view to reducing the extent of mixing zones in the future.

Inventory of emissions, discharges and losses

23.—(1) The Department must continue to maintain an inventory, including maps if available, of emissions, discharges and losses of all substances and pollutants listed in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 for each river basin district or part of a river basin district, including their concentrations in sediment and biota, as appropriate.

(2) The Department must continue to update the inventories as part of the review of the analyses specified in Article 5(2) of the Water Framework Directive, and must publish the updated inventories in the corresponding river basin management plan.

(3) The reference period for the establishment of values in the inventories referred to in paragraph 1 must be the year before that analysis is to be completed, with the exception of priority substances or pollutants covered by Directive 91/414/EEC, where the entries may be calculated as the average of the three years before the completion of that analysis.

Transboundary Pollution

24.—(1) If the Department is found to be in breach of its obligations under the Directive as a result of the exceedance of an environmental quality standard it shall be a defence for the Department if it can demonstrate that—

(a)the exceedance was due to a source of pollution outside its jurisdiction;

(b)it was unable as a result of such transboundary pollution to take effective measures to comply with the relevant environmental quality standard; and

(c)it had applied the coordination mechanisms set out in Article 3 of the Water Framework Directive and, as appropriate, taken advantage of the provisions of Article 4(4), (5) and (6) of that Directive for those water bodies affected by transboundary pollution.

(2) The Department must provide evidence to the Commission that it has taken measures to address the issue of transboundary pollution and must record these measures in the relevant river basin management plan.

Coordination

25.—(1) Where the result of assessments undertaken by the Commission, in accordance with Article 7a of the Directive, show that additional measures may be necessary to facilitate compliance with the Water Framework Directive in relation to a particular substance approved pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council(17) as amended from time to time or Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(18) as amended from time to time, the competent authority must apply—

(a)Article 44 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009; or

(b)Article 48 of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012,

as appropriate, to that substance, or any product containing that substance.

(2) In applying the provisions of the relevant Regulations referred to in Article 7a of the Directive, the competent authority must take into account any risk evaluations and socio-economic or cost-benefit analyses required under those Regulations, including as regards the availability of alternatives.

(3) The competent authority for the purposes of this regulation is the authority defined—

(a)in respect of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009, under regulation 3 of the Plant Protection Products Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011(19);

(b)in respect of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, under regulation 5 of the Biocidal Products and Chemicals (Appointment of Authorities and Enforcement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013(20).

Information to be included in River Basin Management Plan

26.—(1) The Department must include the following information in the updated river basin management plans produced in accordance with Article 13(7) of the Water Framework Directive—

(a)a table presenting the limits of quantification of the methods of analysis applied, and information on the performance of those methods in relation to the minimum performance criteria in Article 4 of Directive 2009/90/EC;

(b)for the substances for which the option in regulation 8 is used–

(i)the reasons and basis for using that option;

(ii)where relevant, the alternative environmental quality standard established evidence that those environmental quality standards would offer at least the same level of protection as the environmental quality standards laid down in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1, including the data and methodology used to derive the environmental quality standards, and the categories of surface water to which they would apply;

(iii)for comparison with the information referred to in paragraph (a), the limits of quantification of the methods of analysis for the matrices specified in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1, including information on the performance of those methods in relation to the minimum performance criteria laid down in Article 4 of Directive 2009/90/EC.

(c)justification for the frequency of monitoring applied in accordance with regulations 11 and 12, if monitoring intervals are longer than one year.

(2) The Department must take measures to ensure that the updated river basin management plans, containing the results and impact of the measures taken to prevent chemical pollution of surface water, and the interim report describing progress on the implementation of the planned programme of measures in accordance with Article 15(3) of the Water Framework Directive, are provided through a central portal which is accessible to the public electronically in accordance with Article 7(1) of Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on public access to environmental information(21).

Revocations and Savings

27.  The Water Framework Directive (Priority Substances and Classification) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011(22) are revoked.

28.  The Water Framework Directive (Priority Substances and Classification) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012(23) are revoked.

29.  The Water Framework Directive (Priority Substances and Classification) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015(24) are revoked.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of the Environment on 2nd October 2015.

Legal seal

Dave Foster

A senior officer of the Department of the Environment

SCHEDULE 1

PART 1Criteria for identifying the types of river, lake or transitional water to which the environmental standards specified in Part 2 of this Schedule apply

1.  Subject to paragraph 2, to determine the dissolved oxygen, ammonia and biochemical oxygen demand standards applicable to a river or any part thereof, the Department must assign to that river or part thereof the Type specified in Table 1 below which corresponds with the applicable site altitude and applicable alkalinity range specified in that Table.

2.  Having assigned a Type in accordance with Table 1, the Department must assign the subsequent Type in accordance with column 1 of Table 2 below.

3.  To determine the morphological conditions applicable to a river or part thereof, the Department must assign to that river or part thereof the Type specified in Table 3 below which corresponds with the applicable descriptions in that Table.

4.  To determine the river flow standards applicable to a river or any part thereof, the Department must assign the Type specified in column 1 of Table 4 below which corresponds to the applicable descriptions specified in columns 2, 3 and 4 of that Table.

5.  To determine the total phosphorus standards to apply to a lake or any part thereof, the Department must assign to that lake or part thereof the appropriate geological category, depth category and colour category specified in Tables 5, 6 and 7 below respectively.

6.  To determine the lake level standards applicable to a lake or any part thereof, the Department must assign the Type specified in Columns 1 and 2 of Table 8.

7.  To determine the morphological conditions applicable to a lake or any part thereof, the Department must assign the hydromorphological characteristics of the lake or part thereof as being of the type specified in column 1 of Table 9 below which corresponds to the applicable measurements specified in columns 3 and 4 of that Table.

Table 1

Criteria for identifying the types of river to which the dissolved oxygen, ammonia and biochemical oxygen demand standards for rivers apply

Site AltitudeAlkalinity (as mg/l CaCO3)
Less than 1010 to 5050 to 100100 to 200Over 200
Under 80 metresType 1Type 2Type 3Type 5Type 7
Over 80 metresType 4Type 6

Table 2

Final typology for dissolved oxygen, ammonia and biochemical oxygen demand in rivers
Column 1Column 2
Upland and low alkalinityTypes (1+2), 4 and 6
Lowland and high alkalinityTypes 3, 5 and 7

Table 3

Criteria for identifying types of river to which morphological conditions apply

TypeCharacteristics
Bedrock channelNormally high altitudeChannel cuts down laterallyMay have waterfalls and/or cascadesBedrock substrate
Cascade Step PoolNormally high altitudeChannel cuts downBoth turbulent and tranquil flowsCobble and boulder substrate
Pool-riffle-glideNormally medium altitudeOften not confined within a valleySlightly meanderingPebble and cobble substrate
MeanderingNormally low altitudeFlow laminar and would naturally interact with floodplainMeanderingMore fines than other substrates

Table 4

Criteria for identifying types of river to which the river flow standards apply

Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
TypeStandard Average Annual Rainfall mm (period 1961-1990)Base Flow Index (BFI)Catchment area (km2)
A1< 810.5< 0.715Any
≥ 0.715≥ 251.8
A2< 810.5≥ 0.715< 251.8

≤ 100 (A2 headwaters)

> 100 (A2 downstream)

≥ 810.5 and < 1413≥ 0.7495Any

≤ 100 (A2 headwaters)

> 100 (A2 downstream)

B1≥ 810.5 and < 1155≥ 0.3615 and < 0.7495< 267.4
B2≥ 810.5 and < 1413≥ 0.3615 and < 0.7495< 267.4
C2≥ 1155 and < 1413≥ 0.3615 and < 0.7495< 267.4
≥ 1413≥ 0.3615≥ 32.33
D2≥ 1413≥ 0.3615< 32.33
≥ 810.5< 0.3615Any

Table 5

Geological categories to which total phosphorus, phytoplankton and phytobenthos standards for lakes apply

Geological categoryAnnual mean alkalinity (micro-equivalents per litre)
Low alkalinity< 200
Moderate alkalinity200 – 1000
High alkalinity> 1000
Marl

Table 6

Depth categories to which total phosphorus standards for lakes apply

Depth categoryMean depth (metres)
Very shallow< 3
Shallow3 – 15
Deep> 15

Table 7

Colour categories to which total phosphorus standards for lakes apply

Colour categoryPlatinum (mg/l)
Humic> 30
Non humic≤ 30

Table 8

Geological characteristics used to identify lake types to which lake level standards apply

Categories
Column 1Column 2
PeatNon-Peat
mean water colour ≥90 hazen units; ormean water colour <90 hazen units; or
≥75% of solid catchment area comprised of peat<75% of solid catchment area comprised of peat

Table 9

Hydromorphological characteristics used to identify lake types to which morphological conditions apply

Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
TypeLake-MImAS(1) codeMean DepthAlkalinity
(1)

Morphological Impact Assessment System

Low Alkalinity

Very Shallow

P/L-vS<4m< 20 mgl-1 CaCO3
Low Alkalinity Shallow/DeepP/L-ShD>4m< 20 mgl-1 CaCO3
Moderate Alkalinity Very ShallowMA-vS<4m20 – 100 mgl-1 CaCO3
Moderate Alkalinity Shallow/DeepMA-ShD>4m20 – 100 mgl-1 CaCO3
High Alkalinity Very ShallowHA/M-vS<4m> 100 mgl-1 CaCO3
High Alkalinity Shallow/DeepHA/M-ShD>4m> 100 mgl-1 CaCO3

PART 2Environmental Standards

Environmental standards for river water quality

1.  Once the Department has, in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part I of this Schedule, assigned to a river or any part thereof a Type—

(a)specified in column 1 of Table 1 below, it must apply, as applicable, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” dissolved oxygen standard specified in columns 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively of that Table to that river or part thereof;

(b)specified in column 1 of Table 2 below, it must apply, as applicable, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” ammonia standard specified in columns 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively of that Table to that river or part thereof;

(c)specified in column 1 of Table 3 below, it must apply, as applicable, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” biochemical oxygen demand standard specified in columns 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively of that Table to that river or part thereof.

2.  The Department must apply the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” biochemical oxygen demand standard specified in Table 3 below only for the purpose of deciding action to meet the standard for dissolved oxygen.

3.  The Department must apply, as applicable, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” reactive phosphorus standard to that river or part thereof, calculated in accordance with the formula specified in sub paragraph (a)—

(a)RP standard = 10^((1.0497 x log10(A)+1.066) x (log10(reference condition RP)- log10(3,500)) + log10(3,500));

(b)In relation to the above formula—

“RP standard” is the annual mean concentration of reactive phosphorus in ug/l estimated for the lower class boundary of high, good, moderate and poor ecological status, depending on the value of “A” used;

“A” has the value 0.702 when calculating the standard for high; 0.532 when calculating the standard for good; 0.356 when calculating the standard for moderate; and 0.166 when calculating the standard for poor;

“reference condition RP” = 10^(0.454 (log10alk) – 0.0018 (altitude) + 0.476) and represents the annual mean concentration of reactive phosphorus at near natural conditions. If the predicted value of reference condition RP is <7ug/l, reference condition RP is set to 7ug/l;

“log10alk” means log10(alkalinity), where alkalinity is the concentration of CaCO3 in mg/l. For sites with an alkalinity greater than 250, alkalinity is set to 250. For sites with an alkalinity less than 2, it is set to 2;

“altitude” means the site’s altitude above sea level in metres. For sites with an altitude greater than 355 metres, altitude is set to 355 metres.

4.  The Department must apply, as applicable, the “high”, “good” “moderate” or “poor” temperature standards specified in columns 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively of Table 4 below.

5.  The Department must apply, as applicable, the “high”, “good”, “moderate” or “poor” acid condition standards specified in columns 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Table 5 to any river or part thereof.

Environmental standards for river flows

6.—(1) Once the Department has, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Part 1 of this Schedule, assigned to a river or part thereof a Type specified in column 1 of Tables 6, 7, 8 or 9 below, it must apply, as applicable, the “high”, “good”, “moderate” or “poor” river flow standards as specified by the boundary values in those Tables to that river or part thereof.

(2) The Department may, when assessing the water balance results against the “high”, “good”, “moderate” and “poor” boundary values, take into account the spatial extent of the river flow standard based upon the contiguous length or percentage length of the river water body.

(3) The result of this classification shall be used only to determine “high” status in accordance with Part 1 of Schedule 2.

Environmental standards for lake water quality

7.  The Department must apply, as applicable, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” dissolved oxygen standard specified in Table 10 below to all lakes or parts of such lakes.

8.  The Department must apply the “good” salinity standard specified in Table 11 below to all lakes or parts of such lakes.

9.  Once the Department has, in accordance with paragraph 5 of Part 1 of this Schedule, assigned to a lake or part thereof a geological category, depth category and colour category specified in Tables 5, 6 and 7 in that Part, it must apply, as applicable, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” total phosphorus standard to that lake or part thereof, calculated in accordance with the formulae specified in columns 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively of Table 12 below, where in relation to those formulae—

“R” represents the annual mean total phosphorus concentration expected for the lake in the absence of more than very minor phosphorus inputs to the lake resulting from human activities and, where a reliable estimate of ‘C’ is available, shall have the value given by the formula: Antilog10 [1.36 – (0.09 x A) + (0.24 x B)] for non-humic lakes; and Antilog10 [1.62 – (0.09) x A + (0.24 x B)] for humic lakes;

“A” = Log10 of the altitude in metres above mean sea level of the lake;

“B” = Log10 (C÷D);

“C” = the mean alkalinity of the lake in milli-equivalents per litre estimated for the lake;

“D” = the mean depth of the lake in metres;

“H” = 0.755 + (0.012 x C) – (0.001 x D); or 0.7, whichever is larger value; and

“G” = 0.506 + (0.023 x C) – (0.002 x D); or 0.46, whichever is the larger value.

10.  If the Department does not have the necessary data to calculate the total phosphorus standard applicable to a lake or part thereof in accordance with paragraph 8, it must apply, as applicable to the lake or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” total phosphorus standard specified in column 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively, of Table 13 below which corresponds with the combination of geological category and depth categories specified in column 1 of that Table that is applicable to the lake or part thereof.

Environmental standards for protection of inland lake water levels

11.  Once the Department has assigned the characteristics of a lake or part thereof, in accordance with paragraph 7 of Part I of this Schedule, it must apply, as applicable, to the lake or part thereof the “high”, “good”, “moderate” or “poor” lake standards specified in columns 1,2, 3 and 4 of Table 14.

Environmental standards for transitional and coastal water quality

12.  The Department must apply, as applicable, the dissolved oxygen standards for “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” specified in Table 15 and Table 16 below to transitional or coastal waters or parts thereof.

13.  The Department must apply, as applicable, the dissolved inorganic nitrogen standards for “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” specified in Table 17 below to transitional or coastal waters or parts thereof.

Environmental standards for specific pollutants

14.  The Department must apply, as applicable, the standards for specific pollutants given in Tables 18 to 47 below to surface waters or parts thereof.

Environmental Standards for River Water Quality

Table 1
Standards for dissolved oxygen in rivers
Dissolved oxygen (percent saturation)
(1)

Where a lowland, high alkalinity river is a salmonid water the standards for the upland, low alkalinity type will apply.

(10-percentile)
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6
Type(1)HighGoodModeratePoorBad
Upland and low alkalinity80756450< 50
Lowland and high alkalinity70605445< 45
Table 2
Standards for ammonia in rivers
Total ammonia(1) (mg/l)
(1)

Note that Ammonia is a Specific Pollutant and considered as such for compliance. It is included in this section as it is commonly assessed alongside the other inorganic chemistry elements.

(90-percentile)
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6
TypeHighGoodModeratePoorBad
Upland and low alkalinity0.20.30.751.1> 1.1
Lowland and high alkalinity0.30.61.12.5> 2.5
Table 3
Standards for Biochemical Oxygen Demand in rivers
Biochemical oxygen demand (mg/l)(1)
(1)

The standard for Biochemical Oxygen Demand shall be used when deciding action to meet the standard for dissolved oxygen.

(2)

Where a lowland, high alkalinity river is a salmonid water the standards for the upland, low alkalinity type will apply.

(90-percentile)
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6
Type(2)HighGoodModeratePoorBad
Upland and low alkalinity3467.5> 7.5
Lowland and high alkalinity456.59> 9
Table 4
Standards for temperature in rivers
Temperature (◦C) as an annual 98th percentile standard
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5
TypeHighGoodModeratePoor
Salmonid waters20232830
Cyprinid waters25283032
Table 5
Standards for acid conditions in rivers. Either pH or Acid Neutralising Capacity (ANC) or both may be used
Clear waters(1)Humic waters(2)
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5
(1)

Waters with a Dissolved Organic Carbon Value of 10mg/l or less

(2)

Waters with a Dissolved Organic Carbon Value of greater than 10mg/l

(3)

As assessed by the Cantrell method

(4)

A 95% upper limit of 9 also applies

Annual mean
pHANC(3)pHANC(3)
High6.60(4)805.10(4)80
Good5.95404.5550
Moderate5.44154.2210
Poor4.89-104.035
Table 6
High environmental standards for river flows
Permitted abstraction per day as a percentage of the natural mean daily flow(Q)(1)
(1)

‘Q’ is the mean daily flow for a specified period of time

(2)

‘Qx’ is the Q that is expected to be exceeded by ‘x’ percent for a specified period of time

High
Column 1Column 2Column 3
Maximum permitted % abstraction at Q exceeding Q95(2)Maximum permitted % abstraction at Q not exceeding Q95
A1, A2 (downstream), A2 (headwaters), B1, B2, C2, D2105
Table 7
Good environmental standards for river flows
Permitted abstraction per day as a percentage of the natural mean daily flow(Q)
Good
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5
River typeMaximum % abstraction at Q exceeding Q60Maximum % abstraction at Q exceeding Q70Maximum % abstraction at Q exceeding Q95Maximum % abstraction at Q not exceeding Q95
A135302520
A2 (downstream), B1, B230252015
A2 (headwaters), C2, D225201510
Table 8
Moderate environmental standards for river flows
Permitted abstraction per day as a percentage of the natural mean daily flow(Q)
(1)

incremental increase in allowable take at flows <Q60 to ≥ Q90

Moderate
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5
River typeMaximum % abstraction at Q exceeding Q60Maximum % abstraction at Q exceeding Q70Maximum % abstraction at Q exceeding Q95Maximum % abstraction at Q not exceeding Q95
A17050-70(1)5045
A2 (downstream), B1, B2,7045-70(1)4540
A2 (headwaters), C2, D27040-70(1)4035
Table 9
Poor environmental standards for river flows
Permitted abstraction per day as a percentage of the natural mean daily flow(Q)
Poor
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5
River typeMaximum % abstraction at Q exceeding Q60Maximum % abstraction at Q exceeding Q90Maximum % abstraction at Q exceeding Q95Maximum % abstraction at Q not exceeding Q95
A1Qx less 25% of Q90Qx less 25% of Q907570
A2 (downstream), B1, B2,Qx less 30% of Q90Qx less 30% of Q907065
A2 (headwaters), C2, D2Qx less 35% of Q90Qx less 35% of Q906560

Environmental Standards for Lake Water Quality

Table 10
Standards for dissolved oxygen in lakes
StatusMean in July – August (mg/l)
Salmonid watersCyprinid waters
High98
Good76
Moderate44
Poor11
Bad< 1< 1
Table 11
Salinity Standards for lakes with no natural saline influence
StatusProposed Boundary
Annual Mean (micro Siemens per centimetre)
Good1000
Table 12
Total phosphorus standards for lakes
Annual mean concentration of total phosphorous (µg/l)
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5
HighGoodModeratePoorBad
R ÷ H; or 5, whichever is the larger valueR ÷ G; or 8, whichever is the larger value(R ÷ G) ÷ 0.5(R ÷ G) ÷ 0.25> (R ÷ G) ÷ 0.25
Table 13
Type-specific total phosphorus standards for lakes where the standards specified in Table 12 above do not apply
Annual mean concentration of total phosphorus (µg/l)
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6
Geological and depth categoryHighGoodModeratePoorBad
High alkalinity; shallow16234692> 92
High alkalinity; very shallow233162124> 124
Moderate alkalinity; deep8122448> 48
Moderate alkalinity; shallow11163264> 64
Moderate alkalinity; very shallow15224488> 88
Low alkalinity; deep581632> 32
Low alkalinity; shallow7102040> 40
Low alkalinity; very shallow9142856> 56
Marl; shallow9204080> 80
Marl; very shallow10244896> 96
Table 14
Environmental standards for lake water levels
Daily maximum % reduction in the habitable zone lake surface area for 99% of the days in any year
(1)

The reference conditions lake surface area means the natural lake surface area in the absence of any abstractions, discharges or other man-made influences

Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
HighGoodModeratePoor
151020

The habitable zone lake surface is dependent on whether the lake is considered to have the geological sub-type “Peat” or “Non-Peat”.

The habitable zone lake surface area means the proportion of the reference conditions(1) lake surface area from the shore to a depth 5 metres deeper than the depth to which light penetration to the lake bed would be sufficient to enable the growth of rooted plants (macrophytes) or bottom-living algae.

In the absence of field data to the contrary, the depth to which light penetration to the lake bed is sufficient to enable the growth of rooted plants (macrophytes) or bottom-living algae may be taken to be 2 metres for lakes with the geological sub-type of “Peat” and 7 metres for “Non-Peat” lakes. The lake habitable zone extends 5m below the level of light penetration to account for impacts on the aphotic habitat.

Environmental Standards for Transitional and Coastal Water Quality

Table 15
Dissolved oxygen standards for transitional and coastal waters with salinities normalised to 35
Dissolved oxygen concentrations (mg/l) as 5-percentile values
High5.7
Good4.0
Moderate2.4
Poor1.6
Bad<1.6
Table 16
Dissolved oxygen standards for transitional and coastal waters with salinities <35
Dissolved oxygen concentrations (mg/l) as 5-percentile values
High≥5.7
Good≥4.0 and <5.7
Moderate≥2.4 and <4.0
Poor≥1.6 and <2.4
Bad<1.6
Table 17
Dissolved inorganic nitrogen standards for coastal waters with salinities from 30-34.5 normalised to salinity of 32, and transitional waters with salinities < 30 normalised to a salinity of 25.
Mean dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentration (micromoles per litre) during the period 1st December to 28th February
High12
Good18
Moderate30
Poor40.5
Bad>40.5

Environmental Standards for Specific Pollutants

Table 18
Environmental standards for 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D)
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
(1)

The standards for 2,4 D specified in Column 2 and Column 4 must not be used for the purpose of classifying the ecological status or potential of bodies of surface water.

Column 1Column 2(1)Column 3Column 4(1)
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.31.30.31.3
Table 19
Environmental standards for 2,4-Dichlorophenol
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standard for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
4.21400.426
Table 20
Environmental standards for 3,4-Dichloroaniline
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standard for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.25.40.25.4
Table 21
Environmental standards for arsenic (dissolved)
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standard for transitional and coastal waters
(1)

The standard for arsenic refers to the dissolved fraction of a water sample obtained by filtration through a 0.45µm filter or any equivalent pre-treatment

Column 1(1)Column 2(1)
Annual mean (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)
5025
Table 22
Environmental standards for benzyl butyl phthalate
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standard for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 1Column 2
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
7.5510.7510
Table 23
Environmental standards for carbendazim
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakes
Column 1Column 2
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.150.7
Table 24
Environmental standards for chlorine
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standard for transitional and coastal waters
(1)

The standards for chlorine specified in Column 2 and 3 must not be used for the purpose of classifying the ecological status or potential of bodies of surface water.

(2)

The term “total residual oxidants” refers to the sum of all oxidising agents existing in water, expressed as available chlorine.

Column 1Column 2(1)Column 3(1)
Annual mean concentration (µg/l) of total available chlorine95-percentile concentration (µg/l) of total available chlorine95-percentile concentration (µg/l) of total residual oxidant(2)
2510
Table 25
Environmental standards for chlorothalonil
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakes
Column 1Column 2
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.0351.2
Table 26
Environmental standards for chromium III
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakes
(1)

The standard for chromium III specified in column 2 must not be used for the purpose of classifying the ecological status or potential of bodies of surface water

Column 1Column 2(1)
Annual mean concentration (µg/l) of dissolved chromium III95-percentile concentration (µg/l) of dissolved chromium III
4.732
Table 27
Environmental standards for chromium VI
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
(1)

The standard for chromium VI specified in column 3 must not be used for the purpose of classifying the ecological status or potential of bodies of surface water.

Column 1Column 2Column 3(1)
Annual mean concentration (µg/l) of dissolved chromium VIAnnual mean concentration (µg/l) of dissolved chromium VI95-percentile concentration (µg/l) of dissolved chromium VI
3.40.632
Table 28
Environmental standards for copper
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters(2)
(1)

bioavailable means the fraction of the dissolved concentration of copper likely to result in toxic effects as determined using the Metal Bioavailability Assessment Tool (also referred to as a PNEC Estimator) for copper.

(2)

The recommended salt water standard applies to the fraction of a water sample that passes through a 0.45-µm filter or that is obtained by any equivalent pre-treatment.

(3)

“DOC” means the annual mean concentration of dissolved organic carbon in mg/l.

Column 2Column 3
Annual mean concentration (µg/l) of dissolved copperAnnual mean concentration (µg/l) of dissolved copper
1(bioavailable)(1)3.76 µg/l dissolved, where DOC(3) ≤ 1 mg/l
3.76 +(2.677 × ((DOC/2) - 0.5)) µg/l dissolved, where DOC > 1 mg/l
Table 29
Environmental standards for cyanide
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
(1)

The standards for cyanide specified in column 2 and column 4 must not be used for the purpose of classifying the ecological status or potential of bodies of surface water.

Column 1Column 2(1)Column 3Column 4(1)
Annual mean concentration (µg/l) of ‘free’ cyanide (HCN and CN)95-percentile concentration (µg/l) of ‘free’cyanide (HCN and CN)Annual mean concentration (µg/l) of hydrogen cyanide95-percentile concentration (µg/l) of hydrogen cyanide
1515
Table 30
Environmental standards for cypermethrin
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakes(1) (2)Good standards for transitional and coastal waters(1) (2)
(1)

Cypermethrin ceases to be a specific pollutant from 22 December 2018, when it shall be listed as a priority substance.

(2)

The standards for cypermethrin specified in column 2 and column 4 must not be used for the purposes of classifying the ecological status or potential of bodies of surface water.

Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.10.40.10.41
Table 31
Environmental standards for diazinon
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.010.020.010.26
Table 32
Environmental standards for dimethoate
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.484.00.484.0
Table 33
Environmental standards for glyhosate
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
196398196398
Table 34
Environmental standards for iron
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standard for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2
Annual mean concentration (mg/l) of dissolved ironAnnual mean concentration (mg/l) of dissolved iron
11
Table 35
Environmental standards for linuron
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.50.90.50.9
Table 36
Environmental standards for manganese
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakes
(1)

bioavailable means the fraction of the dissolved concentration of manganese likely to result in toxic effects as determined in accordance with the Metal Bioavailability Assessment Tool for manganese.

Annual mean (µg/l) bioavailable
123(1)
Table 37
Environmental standards for mecoprop
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
1818718187
Table 38
Environmental standards for methiocarb
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakes
Column 1Column 2
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.010.77
Table 39
Environmental standards for pendimethalin
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakes
Column 1Column 2
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.30.58
Table 40
Environmental standards for permethrin
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standard for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.0010.010.00020.001
Table 41
Environmental standards for phenol
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
7.7467.746
Table 42
Environmental standards for tetrachloroethane (TCE)
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakes
Column 1Column 2
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
1401848
Table 43
Environmental standards for toluene
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
7438074370
Table 44
Environmental standards for triclosan
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standard for transitional and coastal waters
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)95-percentile (µg/l)
0.10.280.10.28
Table 45
Environmental standards for un-ionised ammonia as nitrogen
Good standard for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standard for transitional and coastal waters
Annual mean (µg/l)Annual mean (µg/l)
Not applicable21
Table 46
Environmental standards for zinc
Good standards for rivers and freshwater lakesGood standards for transitional and coastal waters
(1)

bioavailable means the fraction of the dissolved concentration of zinc likely to result in toxic effects as determined using the Metal Bioavailability Assessment Tool (also referred to as a PNEC Estimator) for zinc.

(2)

Ambient Background Concentration is an estimate of background levels of zinc based on a low percentile of monitoring data. A figure of 1 µg/l has been estimated for freshwaters in Northern Ireland.

Column 1Column 2
Annual meanAnnual mean
10.9 bioavailable(1) plus Ambient Background Concentration(2) (µg/l) dissolved6.8 dissolved plus Ambient Background Concentration (µg/l)

Environmental Standards for Priority Substances and other Substances

Table 47
Environmental quality standards for priority substances and other substances for which standards have been set at EU-level
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6Column 7Column 8Column 9
NumberName of substanceChemical Abstracts Service numberDate from which standards applyAll rivers and lakesAll transitional and coastal watersEQS Biota(11)
GoodGood
AA-EQS (µg/l)(1) Inland surface waters(2)MAC-EQS (µg/l)(3) Inland surface waters(2)AA-EQS (µg/l)(1)MAC-EQS (µg/l)(3)
(1)

This parameter is the EQS expressed as an annual average value (AA-EQS). Unless otherwise specified, it applies to the total concentration of all isomers.

(2)

Inland surface waters encompass rivers and lakes and related artificial or heavily modified water bodies.

(3)

This parameter is the Environmental Quality Standard expressed as a maximum allowable concentration (MAC-EQS). Where the MAC-EQS are marked as “not applicable”, the AA-EQS values are considered protective against short-term pollution peaks in continuous discharges since they are significantly lower than the values derived on the basis of acute toxicity.

(4)

For the group of priority substances covered by brominated diphenylethers (No 5), the EQS refers to the sum of the concentrations of congener numbers 28, 47, 99, 100, 153 and 154.

(5)

For cadmium and its compounds (No 6) the EQS values vary dependent upon the hardness of the water as specified in five class categories (class 1: <40mg CaCO3/l, class 2: 40 to <50mg CaCO3/l, class 3: 50 to <100mg CaCO3/l, class 4: 100 to <200mg CaCO3/l and class 5: ≥200mg CaCO3/l).

(6)

This substance is not a priority substance but one of the other pollutants for which the EQS are identical to those laid down in the legislation that applied prior to 13 January 2009.

(7)

No indicative parameter is provided for this group of substances. The indicative parameter(s) must be defined through the analytical method.

(8)

DDT total comprises the sum of the isomers 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2 bis (p-chlorophenyl) ethane (CAS number 50-29-3; EU number 200-024-3); 1,1,1-trichloro-2 (o-chlorophenyl)-2-(p-chlorophenyl) ethane (CAS number 789-02-6; EU number 212-332-5); 1,1-dichloro-2,2 bis (p-chlorophenyl) ethylene (CAS number 72-55-9; EU number 200-784-6); and 1,1-dichloro-2,2 bis (p-chlorophenyl) ethane (CAS number 72-54-8; EU number 200-783-0).

(9)

There is insufficient information available to set a MAC-EQS for these substances.

(10)

For the group of priority substances of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) (No 28), the biota EQS and corresponding AA-EQS in water refer to the concentration of benzo(a)pyrene, on the toxicity of which they are based. Benzo(a)pyrene can be considered as a marker for the other PAHs, hence only benzo(a)pyrene needs to be monitored for comparison with the biota EQS or the corresponding AA-EQS in water.

(11)

Unless otherwise indicated, the biota EQS relate to fish. An alternative biota taxon, or another matrix, may be monitored instead, as long as the EQS applied provides an equivalent level of protection. For substances numbered 15 (Fluoranthene) and 28 (PAHs), the biota EQS refers to crustaceans and molluscs. For the purpose of assessing chemical status, monitoring of Fluoranthene and PAHs in fish is not appropriate. For substance number 37 (Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds), the biota EQS relates to fish, crustaceans and molluscs, in line with section 5.3 of the Annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1259/2011 of 2 December 2011 amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels for dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs and non-dioxin-like PCBs in foodstuffs (OJ L 320, 3.12.2011, P.18).

(12)

These EQS refer to bioavailable concentrations of the substances.

(13)

PCDD: polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins; PCDF: polychlorinated dibenzofurans; PCB-DL: dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls; TEQ: toxic equivalents according to the World Health Organisation 2005 Toxic Equivalence Factors.

Application of the standards set out in Table 47

For any given surface water body, applying the AA-EQS means that, for each representative monitoring point within the water body, the arithmetic mean of the concentrations measured at different times during the year does not exceed the standard.

The calculation of the arithmetic mean, the analytical method used and, where there is no appropriate analytical method meeting the minimum performance criteria, the method of applying a standard must be in accordance with implementing acts adopting technical specifications for chemical monitoring and quality of analytical results, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive.

For any given surface water body, applying the MAC-EQS means that the measured concentration at any representative monitoring point within the water body does not exceed the standard.

However, in accordance with section 1.3.4. of Annex V to the Water Framework Directive, the Department may introduce statistical methods, such as a percentile calculation, to ensure an acceptable level of confidence and precision for determining compliance with the MAC-EQS. Where the Department introduces statistical methods, such methods must apply with rules laid down in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 9(2) of Directive 2008/105/EC.

With the exception of cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel (hereinafter “metals”) the standards set out in Table 47 are expressed as total concentrations in the whole water sample. In the case of metals the standards refer to the dissolved concentration i.e. the dissolved phase of a water sample obtained by filtration through a 0.45 µm filter or any equivalent pre-treatment, or, where specifically indicated, to the bioavailable concentration.

The Department may, when assessing the monitoring results against the standards, take into account:

  • natural background concentrations for metals and their compounds, if they prevent compliance with the standard; and

  • hardness, pH, dissolved organic carbon or other water quality parameters that affect the bioavailability of metals, the bioavailable concentrations being determined using appropriate bioavailability modelling.

1Alachlor15972-60-80.30.70.30.7
2Anthracene120-12-714/09/15-21/12/150.10.40.10.4
22/12/15 onwards0.10.10.10.1
3Atrazine1912-24-90.62.00.62.0
4Benzene71-43-21050850
5Brominated diphenylethers(4)32534-81-914/09/15-21/12/150.0005not applicable0.0002not applicable
22/12/15 onwardsnot applicable0.14not applicable0.0140.0085
6Cadmium and its compounds (depending on water hardness classes)(5)7440-43-9

≤ 0.08

(class 1)

≤ 0.45

(class 1)

0.2

≤ 0.45

(class 1)

0.08

(class 2)

0.45

(class 2)

0.45

(class 2)

0.09

(class 3)

0.6

(class 3)

0.6

(class 3)

0.15

(class 4)

0.9

(class 4)

0.9

(class 4)

0.25

(class 5)

1.5

(class 5)

1.5

(class 5)

6aCarbon-tetrachloride(6)56-23-512not applicable12not applicable
7

C10-13

Chloroalkanes(7)

85535-84-80.41.40.41.4
8Chlorfenvinphos470-90-60.10.30.10.3
9Chlorpyrifos (Chlorpyrifos-ethyl)2921-88-20.030.10.030.1
9aCyclodiene pesticides:Σ=0.01not applicableΣ=0.005not applicable
Aldrin(6)309-00-2
Dieldrin(6)60-57-1
Endrin(6)72-20-8
Isodrin(6)465-73-6
9bDDT total(6) (8)not applicable0.025not applicable0.025not applicable
Para-para-DDT(6)50-29-30.01not applicable0.01not applicable
101,2-Dichloroethane107-06-210not applicable10not applicable
11Dichloro-methane75-09-220not applicable20not applicable
12Di(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP)117-81-71.3not applicable1.3not applicable
13Diuron330-54-10.21.80.21.8
14Endosulfan115-29-70.0050.010.00050.004
15Fluoranthene206-44-014/09/15-21/12/150.110.11
22/12/15 onwards0.00630.120.00630.1230
16Hexachlorobenzene118-74-10.050.0510
17Hexachlorobutadiene87-68-30.60.655
18Hexachloro-cyclohexane608-73-10.020.040.0020.02
19Isoproturon34123-59-60.31.00.31.0
20Lead and its compounds7439-92-114/09/15-21/12/157.2not applicable7.2not applicable
22/12/15 onwards1.2(12)141.314
21Mercury and its compounds7439-97-60.070.0720
22Naphthalene91-20-314/09/15-21/12/152.4not applicable1.2not applicable
22/12/15 onwards21302130
23Nickel and its compounds7440-02-014/09/15-21/12/1520not applicable20not applicable
22/12/15 onwards4(12)348.634
24

Nonylphenol

(4-Nonylphenol)

104-40-50.32.00.32.0
25

Octylphenol

((4-(1,1’,3,3’-tetramethylbutyl)-phenol))

140-66-90.1not applicable0.01not applicable
26Pentachlorobenzene608-93-50.007not applicable0.0007not applicable
27Pentachlorophenol87-86-50.410.41
28Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)(10)-not applicablenot applicablenot applicablenot applicable

Benzo(a)pyrene

50-32-814/09/15-21/12/150.050.10.050.1
22/12/15 onwards1.7 x 10-40.271.7 x 10-40.0275
Benzo(b)fluor-anthene205-99-214/09/15-21/12/15Σ=0.03not applicableΣ=0.03not applicable
22/12/15 onwardssee footnote 100.017see footnote 100.017see footnote 10
Benzo(k)fluor-anthene207-08-914/09/15-21/12/15Σ=0.03not applicableΣ=0.03not applicable
22/12/15 onwardssee footnote 100.017see footnote 100.017see footnote 10
Benzo(g,h,i)-perylene191-24-214/09/15-21/12/15Σ=0.02not applicableΣ=0.02not applicable
22/12/15 onwardssee footnote 108.2 x 10-3see footnote 108.2 x 10-4see footnote 10
Indeno(1,2,3-cd)-pyrene193-39-514/09/15-21/12/15Σ=0.02not applicableΣ=0.02not applicable
22/12/15 onwardssee footnote 10not applicablesee footnote 10not applicablesee footnote 10
29Simazine122-34-91414
29aTetrachloroethylene(6)127-18-410not applicable10not applicable
29bTrichloroethylene(6)79-01-610not applicable10not applicable
30Tributyltin compounds (Tributhyltin-cation)36643-28-40.00020.00150.00020.0015
31Trichlorobenzenes12002-48-10.4not applicable0.4not applicable
32Trichloromethane67-66-32.5not applicable2.5not applicable
33Trifluralin1582-09-80.03not applicable0.03not applicable
34Dicofol115-32-222/12/18 onwards1.3 x 10-3not applicable(9)3.2 x 10-5not applicable(9)33
35Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and its derivatives (PFOS)1763-23-122/12/18 onwards6.5 x 10-4361.3 x 10-47.29.1
36Quinoxyfen124495-18-722/12/18 onwards0.152.70.0150.54
37Dioxins and dioxin-like compoundsSee footnote 9 in Annex X to Directive 2000/60/EC22/12/18 onwardsnot applicablenot applicableSum of PCDD +PCDF+PCB-DL 0.0065 µg.kg-1 TEQ (13)
38Aclonifen74070-46-522/12/18 onwards0.120.120.0120.012
39Bifenox42576-02-322/12/18 onwards0.0120.040.00120.004
40Cybutryne28159-98-022/12/18 onwards0.00250.0160.00250.016
41Cypermethrin52315-07-822/12/18 onwards8 x 10-56 x 10-48 x 10-66 x 10-5
42Dichlorvos62-73-722/12/18 onwards6 x 10-47 x 10-46 x 10-57 x 10-5
43Hexabromo-cyclododecane (HBCDD)See footnote 11 in Annex X to Directive 2000/60/EC22/12/18 onwards0.00160.50.00080.05167
44Heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide76-44-8 /1024-57-322/12/18 onwards2 x 10-73 x 10-41 x 10-83 x 10-56.7 x 10-3
45Terbutryn886-50-022/12/18 onwards0.0650.340.00650.034

PART 3Boundary values for biological quality elements

Boundary values for aquatic plants and animals in rivers

1.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any river or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” benthic invertebrate fauna boundary value for rivers specified in Tables 1 and 2 below.

2.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any river or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” phytobenthos boundary value for rivers specified in Table 3 below.

3.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any river or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” aquatic macrophyte boundary value for rivers specified in Table 4 below.

4.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any river or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “poor” or “bad” freshwater fish boundary value for rivers specified in Table 5 below.

Boundary values for aquatic plants and animals in lakes

5.  To determine the phytoplankton and phytobenthos boundaries to apply to a lake or any part thereof, the Department must assign to that lake or any part thereof, the appropriate geological category, depth category and colour category specified in Schedule 1 Part 1, Tables 5, 6 and 7 respectively.

6.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any lake or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” phytoplankton boundary values for lakes specified in columns 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Table 6 below and columns 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Table 7 below and columns 2 and 3 of Table 8 below respectively.

7.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any lake or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” phytobenthos boundary value for lakes specified in Table 9 below.

8.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any lake or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” aquatic macrophyte boundary value for lakes specified in Table 10 below.

9.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any lake or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” freshwater fish boundary value for lakes specified in Table 11 below.

Boundary values for aquatic plants and animals in transitional and coastal waters

10.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any transitional water, coastal water or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” benthic invertebrate fauna boundary values for transitional and coastal waters specified in Tables 12 and 13 below.

11.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any transitional water, coastal water or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” aquatic angiosperm boundary value for transitional and coastal waters specified in Table 14 below.

12.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any transitional water, coastal water or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” phytoplankton boundary value for transitional and coastal waters specified in Table 15 below.

13.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any transitional water, coastal water or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” aquatic macroalgae boundary values for transitional and coastal waters specified in Tables 16 and 17 below.

14.  The Department must apply, as applicable, to any transitional water or part thereof, the “high”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor” or “bad” fish boundary value for transitional waters specified in Table 18 below.

Table 1
Benthic invertebrate fauna Walley Hawkes Paisley Trigg (WHPT) boundary values (WHPT Average Score per Taxon) for rivers
Boundary values for the degree to which the annual mean sensitivity to disturbance of the observed taxa differs from the annual mean sensitivity of the taxa expected under reference conditions
Ecological quality ratio
High0.97
Good0.86
Moderate0.72
Poor0.59
Bad< 0.59
Table 2
Benthic invertebrate fauna Walley Hawkes Paisley Trigg (WHPT) boundary values (WHPT Number of TAXA) for rivers
Boundary values for the degree to which the annual mean number of disturbance-sensitive taxa differs from the annual mean number of taxa expected under reference conditions
Ecological quality ratio
High0.80
Good0.68
Moderate0.56
Poor0.47
Bad< 0.47
Table 3
Phytobenthos (Diatom) boundary values for rivers
Boundary values for the degree to which the relative annual mean abundances of nutrient-sensitive and nutrient-tolerant groups of diatom taxa differ from the relative annual mean abundances of these groups of taxa expected under reference conditions
Ecological quality ratio
High0.80
Good0.60
Moderate0.40
Poor0.20
Bad< 0.20
Table 4
Macrophyte boundary values for rivers
Boundary values for the degree to which the annual mean abundances of disturbance-sensitive and disturbance-tolerant macrophyte taxa differ from the annual mean abundances of those taxa under reference conditions
Ecological quality ratio
High0.80
Good0.60
Moderate0.40
Poor0.20
Bad< 0.20
Table 5
Freshwater Fish FCS2 (Ireland) boundary values for rivers
Ecological quality ratio(1)
(1)

FCS2 (Ireland) is the Fisheries Classification Scheme 2 (Ireland) model developed for WFD Ecoregion 17 which is the island of Ireland

High0.845 < EQR<= 1.0
Good0.54 < EQR <= 0.854
Moderate0.12 < EQR <= 0.54
Poor0.007 < EQR <= 0.12
Bad0 <= EQR <= 0.007
Table 6
Phytoplankton boundary values for lakes – chlorophyll a
Boundary values for the degree to which the biomass of phytoplankton taxa (as represented by the annual mean chlorophyll a concentration) differ from the biomass of those phytoplankton taxa (annual mean chlorophyll a concentration) expected under reference conditions
Ecological quality ratio
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6
Lake Type

High alkalinity, shallow

Marl shallow

High alkalinity, very shallow

Moderate alkalinity, very shallow

Low alkalinity, very shallow

Marl very shallow

Moderate alkalinity, deep

Moderate alkalinity, shallow

Moderate alkalinity

shallow humic

Low alkalinity, shallow

Low alkalinity, shallow humic

Low alkalinity deep
High0.550.630.500.640.64
Good0.320.300.330.290.33
Moderate0.160.150.170.150.17
Poor0.050.050.050.050.05
Bad< 0.05< 0.05< 0.05< 0.05< 0.05
Table 7
Phytoplankton boundary values for lakes – plankton trophic index
Ecological quality ratio
Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4Column 5Column 6
Lake Type

High alkalinity, shallow

Moderate alkalinity very shallow

Low alkalinity very shallow humic

Marl very shallow

High alkalinity very shallow

Moderate alkalinity, deep

Moderate alkalinity shallow

Low alkalinity, shallow humic

Low alkalinity very shallow Clear

Marl Shallow

Low alkalinity

Deep Clear Water

Low alkalinity shallow Clear Water

Low alkalinity shallow humic
High0.930.910.950.980.96
Good0.820.800.840.870.85
Moderate0.700.680.720.750.73
Poor0.580.560.600.630.61
Bad<0.58<0.56<0.60<0.63<0.61
Table 8
Phytoplankton boundary values for lakes – cyanobacteria biomass
Ecological quality ratio
Column 1Column 2Column 3
Lake TypeAll Low and Moderate alkalinity and Marl LakesHigh alkalinity Lakes
High0.470.63
Good0.320.43
Moderate0.230.34
Poor0.130.21
Bad< 0.13< 0.21
Table 9
Phytobenthos boundary values for lakes
Boundary values for the degree to which the relative annual mean abundances of nutrient-sensitive and nutrient-tolerant groups of diatom taxa differ from the relative annual mean abundances of these groups of taxa expected under reference conditions
Ecological quality ratio
Column 1Column 2Column 3
High and Low alkalinity lakesModerate alkalinity lakes
High0.920.93
Good0.700.66
Moderate0.460.46
Poor0.230.23
Bad< 0.23< 0.23
Table 10
Aquatic macrophyte boundary values for lakes
Boundary values for the degree to which the annual mean abundance of disturbance-sensitive macrophyte(1) taxa differ from the annual mean abundance of those taxa expected under reference conditions
(1)

The term “macrophyte” refers to larger plants, typically including flowering plants, mosses and larger algae, but not including single-celled phytoplankton or diatoms.

Ecological quality ratio
Column 1Column 2
High0.90
Good0.68
Moderate0.42
Poor0.33
Bad< 0.33
Table 11
Freshwater Fish FiL2 boundary values for lakes
Ecological quality ratio(1)
(1)

FiL2 is the Fish in Lakes version 2 model developed for WFD Ecoregion 17 which is the island of Ireland

High0.76 < EQR<= 1.0
Good0.53 < EQR <= 0.76
Moderate0.32 < EQR <= 0.53
Poor/Bad0 <= EQR <= 0.32
Table 12
Benthic invertebrate fauna boundary values for IMPOSEX in coastal waters
Boundary values for the degree to which the annual mean occurrence and degree of tributyl tin (TBT) -induced imposex in the common dog whelk, Nucella lapillus, differs from the annual mean occurrence and degree of imposex expected under reference conditions using the Vas Deferens Stage Index (VDSI) (UKTAG Method ISBN 978-1-906934-35-4)
Ecological quality ratioVas Deferens Stage Index (VDSI)
High0.950.3
Good0.334
Moderate0.175
Table 13
Benthic invertebrate fauna boundary values for the INFAUNAL Quality Index (IQI) for transitional and coastal waters
Boundary values relating to the degree to which the annual mean number of benthic invertebrate taxa in soft sediments, the diversity of taxa, and the ratio of disturbance-sensitive and disturbance-tolerant taxa differ from that expected under reference conditions (UKTAG Method ISBN 978-1-906934-34-7)
Ecological quality ratio
High0.75
Good0.64
Moderate0.44
Poor0.24
Bad< 0.24
Table 14
Aquatic angiosperm boundary values in transitional and coastal waters
Aquatic Angiosperm(1) Boundary values relating to the degree to which the annual mean shoot density, and spatial extent of sea grass beds, differ that expected under reference conditions (UKTAG Method ISBN 978-1-906934-36-1)
(1)

The term “angiosperm” refers to flowering plants. In transitional waters and coastal waters, angiosperms include sea grasses and the flowering plants found in salt marshes, salt marsh tools have not yet been developed.

Ecological quality ratio
High0.8
Good0.6
Moderate0.4
Poor0.2
Bad< 0.2
Table 15
Phytoplankton boundary values for transitional and coastal waters
Boundary values relating to the degree to which biomass, taxonomic composition, bloom frequency and bloom intensity for phytoplankton(1) differ from that expected under reference conditions (UKTAG Method ISBN 978-1-906934-41-5 for Transitional waters and UKTAG method ISBN 978-1-906934-33-0 for Coastal Waters)
(1)

The term “phytoplankton” refers to solitary and colonial unicellular algae and cyanobacteria that live in the water column, at least for part of their lifecycle.

Ecological quality ratio
High0.8
Good0.6
Moderate0.4
Poor0.2
Bad< 0.2
Table 16
Aquatic macroalgae boundary values in transitional and coastal waters
Boundary values relating to the degree to which mean species richness, proportion of red, green and opportunist seaweeds and ecological status group ratio on rocky intertidal areas differ from that expected under reference conditions (UKTAG Method ISBN 978-1-906934-39-2)
Ecological quality ratio
High0.8
Good0.6
Moderate0.4
Poor0.2
Bad< 0.2
Table 17
Aquatic macroalgae boundary values in transitional and coastal waters
Boundary values relating to the degree to which opportunistic macroalgal(1) extent, biomass and entrainment differ from that expected under reference conditions (UKTAG Method ISBN978-1-906934-37-8)
(1)

The term “macroalgae” refers to multicellular algae such as seaweeds and filamentous algae.

Ecological quality ratio
High0.8
Good0.6
Moderate0.4
Poor0.2
Bad< 0.2
Table 18
Fish boundary values for transitional waters
Boundary values relating to the degree to which transitional water fish communities deviate from expectations in terms of species diversity and composition, species abundance, estuarine utilisation, and trophic composition using the Estuarine Multi-metric Fish Index (EMFI)
Ecological quality ratio
High≥ 0.92
Good0.65
Moderate0.35
Poor0.10
Bad< 0.10

PART 4Intermittent Discharge Standards

Table 1

Intermittent standards for dissolved oxygen in rivers

Salmonid waters
Dissolved oxygen concentration (mg/l)
Return period1 hour6 hours24 hours
1 month5.05.56.0
3 months4.55.05.5
1 year4.04.55.0
Cyprinid waters
Dissolved oxygen concentration (mg/l)
Return period1 hour6 hours24 hours
1 month4.05.05.5
3 months3.54.55.0
1 year3.04.04.5

The standards apply when the concurrent concentration of un-ionised ammonia concentration is below 0.02 mg/l. The following correction factors apply at higher concurrent un-ionised concentrations:

Where the un-ionised ammonia lies between 0.02-0.15mg NH3-N/I: the correction factor is an additioin of (0.97 x log (mg NH3-N/I) + 3.8) mg O2/l. For concentrations that exceed 0.15 mg NH3-N/I, the correction factor is +2 mg O2/litre.

A correction factor of 3mg O2/l is added for salmonid spawning grounds.

Table 2

Intermittent standards for un-ionised ammonia in rivers

Salmonid waters
Un-ionised Ammonia concentration (mg NH3-N/l)
Return period1 hour6 hours24 hours
1 month0.0650.0250.018
3 months0.0950.0350.025
1 year0.1050.0400.030
Cyprinid waters
Un-ionised Ammonia concentration (mg NH3-N/l)
Return period1 hour6 hours24 hours
1 month0.1500.0750.030
3 months0.2250.1250.050
1 year0.2500.1500.065

The above limits apply when the concurrent concentration of dissolved oxygen is above 5 mg/l. At lower concentrations of dissolved oxygen the following correction factor applies: For dissolved oxygen less than 5mg/l DO, multiply the standard by 0.0126 and the concentration of dissolved oxygen in mg O/litre, C, raised to the power of 2.72, that is, 0.0126 C2.72.

The standards also assume that the concurrent pH is greater than 7 and temperature is greater than 5 degress Centigrade. For lower pH and temperatures the following correction factors apply: Where the pH is less than 7, multiply the standard by 0.0003 and by the value of the pH, p, raised to the power of 4.17, that is: 0.0003p4.17. Where the temperature is less than 5 degrees Centigrade, multiply this correction factor by a further 0.5.

Table 3

99th percentile standards for biochemical oxygen demand in rivers

StatusTypes of river99th percentile BOD (mg/l)
High1,2,4,6 and salmonid7.0
High3,5 and 79.0
Good1,2,4,6 and salmonid9.0
Good3,5 and 711.0
Moderate1,2,4,6 and salmonid14.0
Moderate3,5 and 714.0
Poor1,2,4,6 and salmonid16.0
Poor3,5 and 719.0

Table 4

99th percentile standards for ammonia in rivers

StatusTypes of riverTotal ammonia (mg NH4-N/l)Un-ionised ammonia (mg NH3-N/l)
99th percentile99th percentile
High1,2,4,6 and salmonid0.50.04
High3,5 and 70.70.04
Good1,2,4,6 and salmonid0.70.04
Good3,5 and 71.50.04
Moderate1,2,4,6 and salmonid1.80.04
Moderate3,5 and 72.60.04
Poor1,2,4,6 and salmonid2.60.04
Poor3,5 and 76.0-

Table 5

Types of river to which the proposed 99th percentile standards in Tables 3 and 4 apply

Alkalinity (as mg/l CaCO3)
AltitudeLess than 1010-5050-100100-200Over 200
Under 80 metresType 1Type 2Type 3Type 5Type 7
Over 80 metresType 4Type 6

SCHEDULE 2

PART 1Determining Ecological Status of Surface Waters that are not designated Heavily Modified or Artificial

1.  The Department must classify the ecological status of surface water bodies that are not designated as heavily modified or artificial in accordance with the following steps:

(a)estimate representative values of appropriate indicators of the condition of the relevant biological, physiochemical and hydromorphological quality elements from monitoring or modelling results. The appropriate indicators shall include:

(i)indicators of biological and other quality elements expected to be most sensitive to the pressures to which the water body is subject;

(ii)the values for physicochemical quality elements at risk of being so altered as to be failing a physicochemical standard ;

(iii)the concentrations of those specific pollutants likely to be in the water body in quantities that could cause a failure of a specific pollutant;

(iv)the concentrations of those priority substances likely to be in the water body in quantities that could cause failure of chemical status; and

(v)the criteria for hydromorphological elements relevant to high status.

(b)compare the values of the appropriate indicators estimated from monitoring or modelling with the applicable standards and biological boundary values in Schedule 1 of these Regulations.

(c)classify the ecological status of the water body as “high” if the values of all the appropriate indicators of the biological, physicochemical, chemical and hydrological quality elements comply with the highest corresponding standards given in Schedule 1; the assessment of morphological condition carried out in accordance with Part 4 paragraph 1 of this Schedule reflects totally or nearly totally undisturbed conditions; and there is no evidence that a high impact alien species, as identified on the Ecoregion 17 list, has become established and is having an ecological effect on the water body.

(d)where the biological quality elements and the general chemical and physiochemical elements and specific pollutants are high and the chemical status is good but the hydromorphological status is less than high, then the overall status of the surface water body is “good”.

(e)where a surface water body is not classified as “high” ecological status in accordance with paragraph 1(c), the Department must classify the ecological status of the surface water body according to the lowest classed biological or physicochemical quality element. If the lowest classed quality element is a specific pollutant or other physicochemical quality element, the class assigned shall be no lower than “moderate” ecological status.

2.  In this part, “high impact alien species” means a non-native species of plant or animal that has a detrimental effect on the aquatic ecology or environment.

PART 2Determining Chemical Status of Surface Waters

1.  The Department must classify the chemical status of surface water bodies in accordance with the following steps:

(a)estimate from monitoring or modelling results the concentrations in the surface water body of appropriate priority substances listed in Schedule 1 of these Regulations. The appropriate substances shall include those likely to be in the surface water body in quantities that could cause a failure of the corresponding environmental quality standard.

(b)compare the values of the appropriate substances estimated from monitoring or modelling with the applicable standards in Schedule 1.

(c)classify the chemical status of the surface water body as good unless the standard for one or more priority substances is failed. If one or more is failed, classify as failing to achieve good chemical status.

PART 3Determining Ecological Potential of Heavily Modified and Artificial Water Bodies

1.  The Department must classify a surface water body designated as heavily modified or artificial as—

(a)“good ecological potential” if the following conditions are met:

(i)all applicable mitigation measures have been taken; and

(ii)the values of all the indicators of the quality elements not sensitive to hydromorphological pressures related to the heavily modified or artificial water body designation, including biology, specific pollutants and other physicochemical quality elements achieve the standards for “high” or “good”.

(b)“moderate ecological potential” if the following conditions are met:

(i)not all applicable mitigation measures have been taken and the values of one or more of the indicators of the quality elements not sensitive to hydromorphological pressures directly related to the heavily modified or artificial water body designation, including biology, specific pollutants and other physicochemical quality elements achieve the standards for “high”, “good” or “moderate”; or

(ii)all applicable mitigation measures have been taken and the values of one or more of the indicators of the quality elements not sensitive to hydromorphological pressures directly related to the heavily modified or artificial water body designation, including biology, specific pollutants and other physicochemical quality elements achieve the standards for “moderate”.

(c)“poor ecological potential” if the values of one or more of the indicators of the biological quality elements not sensitive to hydromorphological pressures directly related to the heavily modified or artificial water body designation achieve the standards for “poor”.

(d)“bad ecological potential” if the values of one or more of the indicators of biological quality elements not sensitive to hydromorphological pressures directly related to the heavily modified or artificial water body designation achieve the standards for “bad”.

2.  In order to determine how to classify surface water bodies designated as heavily modified or artificial in accordance with paragraph 1, the Department must —

(a)determine whether or not all practicable mitigation has been taken to improve the modified or artificial hydromorphological characteristics of the surface water body other than that which would have a significant adverse impact on:

(i)the use served by the modified or artificial characteristics; or

(ii)the wider environment.

(b)estimate representative values of indicators of the condition of the relevant biological and physicochemical quality elements from monitoring or modelling results. The indicators shall include:

(i)indicators of the biological quality elements which are not sensitive to the artificial or heavily modified characteristics of the water body;

(ii)the concentrations of those specific pollutants likely to be in the surface water body in quantities that could cause a failure of a specific pollutant standard; and

(iii)the values for those other physicochemical quality elements at risk of being so altered as to be failing a physicochemical standard.

(c)compare the values of the indicators estimated from monitoring or modelling with the applicable standards in Schedule 1 of these Regulations.

3.  When determining whether all practicable mitigation has been taken, mitigation measures may be excluded which would contribute only a very minor improvement in the ecology of the water body.

PART 4Determining High Status for Morphological Elements

1.  The Department must monitor morphological conditions within relevant water bodies.

(a)Once the Department has, in accordance with paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 1, assigned a type to a river or part thereof, the Department must consider both direct and indirect pressures on the physical character of rivers at local scale, water body scale and catchment scale. The physical character of a river includes the condition of the channel bed, banks and riparian zone, channel pattern and river continuity. Classification shall be assigned according to the ecological quality ratio in the River Hyrdromorphology Assessment Technique specified in Table 1 of this Part.

(b)Once the Department has in accordance with paragraphs 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 assigned a type to a lake, the Department must consider both direct and indirect pressures on the physical character of lakes in the shore zone and open water. Morphological Condition Limits are used to represent thresholds of alteration in morphological conditions beyond which conditions could be altered in ways that could result in deterioration in status. A Morphological Condition Limit of 5% is the boundary between High Ecological Status and Good Ecological Status and a Morphological Condition Limit of 15% is the boundary between Good Ecological Status and Moderate Ecological Status.

(c)To assess the morphological condition of transitional and coastal water bodies, the Department must consider both direct and indirect pressures on the physical character of transitional and coastal waters at local scale, water body scale and catchment scale.

2.  High Status morphological condition must not be assigned to

(a)Any water body that has been identified as being at risk of failing to achieve good ecological status due to the extent of morphological pressures; or

(b)Any artificial or heavily modified water body.

Table 1

Boundary values for the River Hydromorphology Assessment Technique
Ecological quality ratio
High>=0.8
Good0.6 - < 0.8
Moderate0.4 - <0.6
Poor0.2 - <0.4
Bad<0.2

PART 5Determining Overall Status of Surface Water Bodies

1.  The Department must determine the overall status of a surface water body, other than those designated as heavily modified or artificial, by combining the classification of ecological status and chemical status in one of the following and alternative ways:

(a)where the ecological and hydromorphological status of a surface water body is high and the chemical status of the surface water body is good, then the overall status of the surface water body is “high”.

(b)where the biological quality elements and the general chemical and physiochemical elements and specific pollutants are high and the chemical status is good but the hydromorphological status is less than high, then the overall status of the surface water body is “good”

(c)where the ecological status is good and the chemical status is good, then the overall status is “good”.

(d)where the ecological status is high, good or moderate, and the chemical status is failing to achieve good, then the overall status is “moderate”.

(e)where the ecological status is moderate and irrespective of chemical status, then the overall status is “moderate”.

(f)where the ecological status is poor or bad and irrespective of the chemical status, the overall status shall be the same classification as the ecological status, that is “poor” or “bad”.

SCHEDULE 3Determining Quantitative status of Groundwater

1.—(1) The Department must determine the quantitative status of a body of groundwater as follows—

(a)by determining whether or not one or more of the indicators in Column 1 of Table 1 are applicable to the body of groundwater; and

(b)if any of those indicators are applicable, by carrying out appropriate investigations to determine whether or not the criteria in Column 2 of Table 1 corresponding to the applicable indicator or indicators for poor quantitative status are satisfied.

(2) The body of groundwater must be classified as—

(a)“good groundwater quantitative status” where—

(i)none of the indicators set out in Column 1 of Table 1 are applicable, or

(ii)one or more of those indicators are applicable but none of the corresponding criteria for poor groundwater status set out in Column 2 of Table 1 are satisfied; and

(b)in any other case as “poor groundwater quantitative status”.

Table 1

Risk indicators and classification criteria for groundwater quantitative status

Column 1Column 2

Saline or other intrusions into a groundwater body:

a) Failure of a threshold value i.e. electrical conductivity for groundwater as derived in accordance with the Groundwater Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009; or

b) Other indications of intrusions of poor quality water into the body of groundwater

(Note: “intrusion” is interpreted to be intrusion of poor quality water into a groundwater body from another water body, rather than the movement of a plume of poor quality water within the body).

i) Significant and sustained upward trend in electrical conductivity indicating saline intrusion;

ii) Significant and sustained upward trend in the concentration of other indicators of intrusion;

iii) Existing evidence that a point of abstraction has been rendered unsuitable for use without prior treatment as a result of an intrusion.

Surface water:

a) Flow conditions in an associated surface water body are unsatisfactory, and there is reason to suspect that groundwater abstraction impacts (on the surface water body) are a significant component of the failure to achieve flow standards.

(Note: Flow conditions are considered unsatisfactory if they are failing to meet the appropriate WFD flow standards and in doing so, preventing the surface water body maintaining of achieving its target status class).

i) Flow conditions are preventing the surface water body maintaining or achieving the target status class and the reduction in river flow in the surface water body concerned (resulting solely from groundwater abstraction) represents ≥50% of the value of the allowable abstraction (based on the flow standards).

Groundwater Dependant Terrestrial Ecosystems (GWDTE):

a) Indications of damage to a GWDTE caused by insufficient water availability identified through the departure from predefined environmental supporting conditions, including flow and groundwater level (or chemistry) which are required to maintain dependent communities in a favourable state.

i) A significant proportion of the departure from the predefined environmental supporting conditions can be attributed to anthropogenic quantitative pressures in the groundwater body, affecting groundwater availability to the GWDTE.

Water balance:

a) Indications that the total annual volume of groundwater being abstracted from the groundwater body exceeds the long term annual average rate of recharge to the groundwater body (taking in to account an allowance where relevant for dependent ecosystems).

i) The annual average volume of groundwater abstracted from the groundwater body represents more than the long-term annual average rate of recharge to the groundwater body and there are sustained trends of long term falling groundwater levels within the groundwater body.

SCHEDULE 4Presentation of monitoring results and classification

Table 1

Surface Water Ecological Status

Ecological status classificationColour code
HighBlue
GoodGreen
ModerateYellow
PoorOrange
BadRed

Table 2

Heavily Modified/Artificial Water Bodies Ecological Potential

Ecological potential classificationColour code
Artificial water bodiesHeavily modified
Good and aboveEqual green and light grey stripesEqual green and dark grey stripes
ModerateEqual yellow and light grey stripesEqual yellow and dark grey stripes
PoorEqual orange and light grey stripesEqual orange and dark grey stripes
BadEqual red and light grey stripesEqual red and dark grey stripes

Table 3

Surface Water Chemical Status

Chemical status classificationColour code
GoodBlue
Failing to achieve goodRed

Table 4

Groundwater chemical status

Groundwater chemical statusColour code
GoodGreen
PoorRed

Table 5

Groundwater Quantitative Status

Groundwater quantitative statusColour code
GoodGreen
PoorRed

SCHEDULE 5

PART 1Shellfish Waters Standards

Table 1

Shellfish Water Mandatory Standards

ParameterUnitsStandard
Temperature◦CA discharge affecting shellfish waters must not cause the temperature of the water to exceed by more than 2◦C the temperature of the waters not so affected.
pHpH values will not reach levels outside of the range established so as to ensure the functioning of the ecosystem and the achievement of the values specified for the biological quality elements under Good Ecological Status
SilverAnnual mean (AA-EQS) (µg/l)0.5
Maximum allowable concentration (MAC-EQS) (µg/l)1
Salinity

Practical Salinity Units (PSU)

40 PSU

A discharge affecting shellfish waters must not cause their salinity to exceed by more than 10% the salinity of waters not so affected.

Table 2

Shellfish Water Salinity Guideline Standard

ParameterUnitsStandard
Salinity

PSU

12-38

PART 2Microbial Guideline Value

Microbial Guideline Value

1.  In shellfish waters, the Department must endeavour to respect the microbial guideline value in the shellfish flesh and intervalvular liquid as set out in Table 1 to this Part, in addition to the mandatory standards set out in these Regulations.

Compliance with the microbial guideline value

2.—(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), in relation to any period of 12 months, shellfish waters shall be treated as complying with the guideline value set out in Table 1 to this Part, if 75 per cent of the samples taken comply with the guideline value.

(2) Non-compliant samples may be ignored for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) if they are the result of natural cause or force majeure.

Sampling and analysis

3.—(1) The Department must ensure that the guideline value adopted as a result of paragraph 1 and samples are analysed in accordance with the following provisions of this paragraph.

(2) Subject to sub-paragraph (1), sampling shall be carried out at least at the minimum frequency specified in Table 1 to this Schedule.

(3) Where sampling shows that the guideline value adopted as a result of paragraph 1 is not being met, the Department must establish whether this is the result of chance, a natural phenomenon or pollution, and must adopt appropriate measures to prevent deterioration.

(4) Samples shall be analysed using the reference methods of analysis specified in Table 1 to this paragraph or methods which are at least as reliable as the reference methods.

Table 1
Microbial Standard for shellfish waters
ParameterUnitsGuideline values and commentsReference methods of analysisMinimum sampling and measuring frequency
Escherichia coli (E.coli)cfu/100ml≤230 in the shellfish flesh and intervalvular liquidISO16649 part 3 or equivalentQuarterly

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations implement Council Directive 2008/105/EC on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy (OJ No. L348, 24.12.2008 p.84) as amended by Directive 2013/39/EU (OJ L226, 24.08.2013, p.1) and set out the classification schemes used under the implementation of Directive 2000/60/EC establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (OJ No. L327, 22.12.2000 p.1-73).

Regulation 3 and Schedule 1 require the Department to assign a type or types and to apply environmental standards and biological boundary values in respect of rivers, lakes, transitional and coastal waters.

Regulations 4 to 8 require the Department to apply the standards for priority standards, including biota standards, as set out in Table 47 of Part 2 of Schedule 1.

Regulations 9 to 14 set out requirements for the Department with respect to the monitoring of biota and sediment standards.

Regulations 15 to 17 require the Department to carry out monitoring for substances identified by the Commission on the first Watch List (Commission Implementing Decision 2015/495) as well as substances which are subsequently added to it.

Regulation 19 and Schedule 5 require the Department to apply pH, silver, temperature, salinity standards and endeavour to respect a microbial value with respect to shellfish waters.

Regulations 20 and 21 and Schedules 2, 3 and 4 require the Department to classify surface waters and groundwaters and to report this classification in the River Basin Management Plans produced for the purposes of implementing Directive 2000/60/EC.

Regulation 22 allows for the designation of mixing zones and regulation 23 requires the Department to update the inventories of emissions, discharges and losses in respect or priority substances which have been established for each of the River Basin Districts in Northern Ireland.

Regulation 27 revokes the Water Framework Directive (Priority Substances and Classification) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Regulation 28 revokes the Water Framework Directive (Priority Substances and Classification) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012.

Regulation 29 revokes the Water Framework Directive (Priority Substances and Classification) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.

(5)

EU Commission Decision 2013/480/EU

(6)

OJ L201, 1.8.2009, p.36

(7)

OJ L348, 16.12.2008, p.84

(8)

OJ L226, 24.8.2013, p.1

(9)

OJ L348, 16.12.2008, p.84

(10)

OJ L226, 24.08.2013, P.1

(11)

OJ L327,22.12.2000, p.1-73; as amended by Decision 2455/2001/EC (OJ L331, 15.12.2001, p.1), Directive 2008/32/EC (OJ L81, 20.3.2008, p.60), Directive 2008/105/EC (OJ L348, 24.12.2008, p.84), Directive 2009/31/EC (OJ L140, 5.6.2009, p.114), Directive 2013/39/EU (OJ L226, 24.8.2013, p.1) and Commission Directive 2014/101/EU (OJ L311, 31.10.2014, p.32).

(12)

OJ L311, 31.10.2014, p.32

(14)

Commission Implementing Decision 2015/495. OJ L 78, 24.3.2015, p40

(15)

OJ L78, 24.3.2015, p40

(17)

OJ L309, 24.11.2009, p.1, as amended by Council Regulation (EU) No 518/2013 (OJ L158, 10.6.2013, p.72) and Regulation (EU) No 652/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L189, 27.6.2014, p.1)

(18)

OJ L167, 27.6.2012, p.1, as last amended by Regulation (EU) No 334/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L103, 5.4.2014, p.22)

(21)

OJ L41, 14.2.2003, p.26

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