New research projects kick off in University of Galway

Those involved in the GWS sector will be very interested to hear of two research projects that have recently gotten underway, led by the University of Galway. Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the projects focus (separately) on the topics of Verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) and manganese in the water environment.

Manganese

The ‘AQUA-MANganese’ project will assess the prevalence of manganese in drinking water sources and seeks to determine what factors impact its presence and mobilisation. It will also review international best practice and manganese reduction management strategies. Research will primarily focus on the Cavan/Monaghan region, where manganese has been particularly problematic for drinking water providers.

VTEC

‘DERIVE’ aims to help protect the Irish public from waterborne infections with VTEC. This bug causes up to 1,000 gastrointestinal infections each year. Drinking untreated groundwater, from a private well or small group scheme, is the top risk factor.

DERIVE will investigate how VTEC is transported into drinking water supplies. It will develop a rapid molecular test for on-site detection of VTEC in water, and a web-based risk assessment tool that can be used to predict well contamination under changing conditions.

The NFGWS plans to contact relevant GWSs that can hopefully assist in the research process for these two important topics.