It’s easy to take water for granted in Ireland.  At home, we turn on the tap and out it comes; clean the car or kitchen floor and down the drain goes the soiled water.  We don’t have to think about where the water comes from or where our waste goes.  And isn’t there plenty of rain anyway?  But it’s expensive taking raw water from the local lake and bringing it up to drinking water standard.  What a waste then to flush this top quality water straight back down the toilet again!   Many of the bleaches and detergents used in the home aren’t removed by sewage treatment plants; they just flow through the system and back into the local bay or river.

From the moment every Irish person gets up in the morning they are using a valuable resource, and contributing to its potential pollution at the same time:  From the shower it’s down for breakfast and then into the factory or office, coffee at 11.00, then maybe the gym after work or a trip to the hairdressers at lunch, or to get the car washed on the way home, then dinner, washing up and maybe a spot of gardening or a morning fishing’s at the weekend.

We’re all just part of the cycle!

There are simple things everyone can do to cut down wastage of water and to minimise the pollutants that are released from their home, business or farm into the waterway.  In addition to making your local stream, river or bay cleaner and safer for you, your community and wildlife, they often make sound financial sense also.

So whether you’re at home , on the farm , running a business, working in tourism and hospitality, involved in a youth group or out on the water boating & angling, the following pages set out simple advice on how to be water-friendly and lessen your impact on your local streams, rivers or beaches.