Bogs act as a sponge regulating river flows and aleviating flooding downstream. Draining peat and ,in particular stripping the vegetation, exposes the soil to the elements and increases the rate of runoff. This results in erosion with fine sediments and dissolved organic matter(DOM) entering Irelands lakes, rivers and streams. This is very difficult to remove and if the water is treated with chlorine carcinogenic trihalomethanes(THMs) are formed. The latests EPA RLA lists 55 instances of THMs as the primary risk of concern for potable water sources. Bogs have formed over the past 10,000 years and hold historic depsits of heavy metals deposited in the industrial era. As peat degrades and erodes these heavy metals are released into water. As the peat decomposes the nutrients are released and also enter water altering the aquatic ecosystem and increasing risk of eutrophication. Sediments and dissolved organic matter also damage aquatic organisms including protected species such as salmon and freshwater pearl mussels.

 

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