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New protection for the Island’s waterways

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

New protection for the Island’s waterways

The public is being consulted over the Isle of Man Government’s plans to improve water quality standards for the Island’s waterways.

Water quality can be affected by many factors including agricultural run-off, domestic sewage and heavy metals from historic mining activity.

The proposed new Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) would bring the Island in line with the UK and protect its waterways for both people and wildlife.

Upland streams need protection because they feed reservoirs for drinking water, rivers support fish and other wildlife and provide opportunities for recreation. Coastal waters are important as fisheries and for swimming.  High levels of pollutants can threaten each of these delicate ecosystems.

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for the Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:

‘Water bodies are hugely important for the environmental, economic and social benefits they provide. The new standards will ensure that water quality is improved for all the Island’s streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waters whether or not they are designated for bathing.

‘Standards specific to the Isle of Man are to be set, including all the main polluting substances along with such substances as pesticides and heavy metals which are known to be present in Manx waters.’

The Water Pollution Act 1993 requires the Isle of Man Government to protect water courses from pollution. If pollution is not adequately controlled it could have a negative impact on the environment for local people and visitors.

The three month consultation invites views on the introduction of new standards and what they mean for the environmental protection of the Island’s valuable but sensitive watercourses.

Any suspected pollution incidents can be reported to the Isle of Man Government by contacting the Environmental Protection Unit on +44 1624 685885 or email

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