Biological analysis is used to rapidly assess water quality and investigate the sources of pollution. This is done in accordance with the EPA's Q-value system or the Western River Basin District's Small Stream Risk Score (SSRS), and ISO standards.
These tests involve the analysis of macroinvertebrate populations and provide a rapid and accurate assessment of ecological water quality. For this reason, a Q-Value is frequently used where impacts to a water course may occur as a result of a proposed development.
Potential impacts to the standard of water quality are one of the most common threats that projects face to protected areas and species. There are few places in Ireland that are not linked to important aquatic habitats such as large rivers and estuaries. The last 5 years have seen strengthened legislation to achieve the standards set in the EU's Water Framework Directive. Some of our most protected species are to be found in freshwater habitats such as the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Otter and Atlantic Salmon. OPENFIELD can navigate the many pathways for impacts to occur, assess the likelihood of cumulative, or 'in combination' effects and suggest the best practice solutions that will protect water quality.