Social Democrat Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore has expressed her disappointment and frustration at the recent results from the EPA’s latest national assessment of water quality that showed the Avoca River to still be considered as one of the most polluted in the country.

Whitmore, who’s background is in aquatic science and fisheries, said “The EPA assessment, released this week, concludes that there has been little overall change in water quality in the six years up to the end of 2015, including a failure to meet a planned national target of 13 per cent improvement in water status. There has also been a continued decline in the number of pristine rivers across the country, with only 21 sites achieving the highest quality rating, compared to 500 sites in the 1980s. Of particular concern to Wicklow is the fact that the Avoca River is one of the only 6 rivers that are still categories as being badly polluted.

“Despite years of plans and proposals about remediating the Avoca River, it is still one of the most polluted systems in the country. This won’t come as any surprise to the local community as there have been repeated attempts to get this system cleaned up. Unfortunately, the great work done on pilot remediation proposals in mid-2000s never came to fruition. We really now need to relook at this river. The Avoca River is a valuable amenity to our county and it’s unacceptable that it hasn’t been cleaned up and allowed to flourish as a viable and productive river system.