I have just finished reviewing proposals for water monitoring for a number of quarries and sand pits in Leintser. What struck me was the lack of consistency in the parameters required to be monitored in surface water. For example, some sites had to be monitored for Ammonia, some for Total Ammonia, some for Ammonium and some for Ammonium as N. Asking one quarry to monitor for Total Ammonia and the quarry over the road to monitoring for Ammonium as N just does not make sense to me.
My take on this is that everyone should be focusing on reducing costs and improving efficiency. Central to this is clarity of purpose and standardisation. Having one set of standard parameters for monitoring of surface water, or failing that, just one variety of each parameter (e.g.. for ammonia just specify Total Ammonia and ditch all other varieties) would reduce costs and improve efficiency. This would happen as the job of laboratories would be simplified (e.g. just gain accreditation for Total Ammonia and forget the rest); the job of applying for and granting permits would be simpler, and there would be less confusion in reporting. However, this is an engineer’s view and I may be mistaken, if so someone please let me know.