Council investigates river ‘eruptions’

Council investigates river ‘eruptions’


One of the regular river ‘eruptions’ at The Quay in Clarecastle – © Pat Flynn 2014

Clare County Council will deploy divers to investigate recent ‘eruptions’ in a river that has left locals mystified.

In recent months, locals in Clarecastle, Co Clare have reported unusual eruptions in the River Fergus at the local quay, a popular recreational area.

Without notice, water suddenly bursts through the surface up to three feet into the air before dissipating again usually after about 30 seconds to a minute.

Locals say they first noticed the strange activity in August but that it only occurred sporadically and always in the exact same location.

The strange activity begins with water bubbling at the surface before erupting several feet into the air with considerable pressure.

The occurrences have lasted for anything from 30 seconds to a minute and have proven to be a source of great amusement for locals who didn’t know how to react at first.

“When I saw it first I got a stir alright. It was the first time in all my years seeing something like that down the quay. We all go down there regularly and I fish on the river too. I never saw anything like that before,” one local resident said.

Clare County Council was informed of the activity in early September and early indications were that it was water from a storm drain that may have become blocked.

At the time however, Clare had experience a spell of a good weather with no heavy rain for over a fortnight.

Senior Engineer with Clare County Council Eamon O’Dea said: “The storm water system in Clarecastle discharges to the river at this location by means of a pumped outfall system.”

“The pumps have recently been upgraded and the Council is arranging for divers to inspect the outfall for any obstruction during the low spring tides in October. The pumping of the storm water through a constricted opening would result in an increase in pressure causing the water spout,” Mr O’Dea added.

Another local man said however: “This has been going on for a few months. I take my dogs down there for a run and a swim and I’ve spotted this several times in recent months. I was really taken aback the first time because I hadn’t a clue what it was,” another local man said.

“I said to a few locals and honestly, they joked that I was drunk or something but then I met someone else who had also seen it,” he added.