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Cold water poured on Galway canal ‘foam’ concerns


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Cold water poured on Galway canal ‘foam’ concerns Cold water poured on Galway canal ‘foam’ concerns

Galway City Council has sought to pour cold water on concerns that ‘foaming’ on the canal adjacent to St Pat’s National School is a threat to aquatic life.

In response to a query from the Galway City Tribune on foot of complaints from concerned readers, a spokesperson for the Council confirmed it had not received a report of the matter.

“This matter has now been logged on our system and may now be investigated,” they said.

Complaints have previously arisen about foaming and grease-like substances on the city’s waterways, with the Claddagh Basin and the Eglinton Canal at Raven Terrace particular areas of concern.

However, the Council spokesperson said that, on investigation, these were found to be a “natural occurrence”.

“Following heavy rainfall, runoff of organic material further upstream in the Corrib catchment is agitated through high flows and agitation within the river which can result in a foam or scum occurring.

“Natural foams develop when plants or other naturally occurring materials break down and water becomes enriched with nutrients. Natural foam may appear white at first, but will usually turn a tan to brownish colour as it travels downstream and accumulates particulate matter,” they said.

“These natural occurrences typically do not have a negative effect on aquatic life.”

It had been suggested by one reader familiar with the waterways that this material was having an impact on fish stocks within the water network.

However, Galway City Council stated it did not have information available to answer this claim.

“Galway City Council do not have statutory powers in relation to fish stock levels and are not able to comment in this regard,” said the spokesperson.

Photo: The ‘foam’ photographed by a reader on the canal behind St Pat’s National School.

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