Groundwater chemistry

Groundwater chemistry

​​Groundwater contains many dissolved constituents as a result of the interactions rain water has with soils, subsoils, bedrock and human land use activities.  Studying groundwater chemistry allows us to better understand our groundwater systems and the processes that take place underground.  The groundwater programme of Geological Survey Ireland is currently establishing a national groundwater chemistry database and a series of groundwater chemistry maps.  

​National groundwater chemistry database

The national groundwater chemistry database holds data from a variety of sources. Currently, the database contains approximately 300,000 data points from 1,500 monitoring locations.  The data sources include:

Data for the groundwater chemistry database have been sourced from:

  • Geological Survey Ireland
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Federation of Group Water Schemes
  • Local Authorities and
  • Irish Water  

​Groundwater chemistry maps

The database is being used to produce a series of national groundwater chemistry maps which will be accompanied by a fact sheet.  Each year the Geological Survey receives enquiries from water users, particularly private well owners, concerned about their water. Many enquiries concern the hardness of their water and the concentration of iron and /or manganese in their groundwater.  The first maps in the series are tackling these parameters.  It is hoped these maps will be a useful reference for groundwater professionals, researchers and the general public.