Rivers are important. They provide water for economic development and human consumption. They provide recreational facilities such as fishing and boating. They support a large variety of wildlife and are part of our natural heritage.

A comprehensive river water quality monitoring program is necessary in order to safeguard public health and to protect our valuable fresh water resources for present and future generations.

The Environmental Protection Agency carries out monitoring of the biological river water quality at River Sites in County Monaghan. Biological River Water quality is ranked by Q value (or quality value). The best Q rating is 5 and the worst rating is 1.
With many lakes used as abstraction sources for drinking water, there is a comprehensive programme of monitoring carried out on lakes in the county. Algal blooms are overgrowths of algae in water due to excessive nitrogen and phosphorus that washes into water bodies and are often the direct result of human activities including agricultural activities, (such as farmyard run-off & chemical fertilizer application), and municipal & industrial waste discharges. Harmful algal blooms can:

  • Produce extremely dangerous toxins that can sicken or kill people and animals
  • Create dead zones in the water
  • Raise treatment costs for drinking water


Monaghan is part of the Neagh-Bann and North Western River Basin Regions.