Air and water quality
You can check the air quality and how clean your waters are. You also have the right to access environmental information from public bodies.
Local air quality information is collected at 21 sites across Northern Ireland for the following pollutants:
- nitrogen oxides
- sulphur dioxide
- particulate matter
- carbon monoxide
- ground level ozone
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs' (DAERA) Northern Ireland Air website and the Northern Ireland Air App give live local air quality information. Levels of pollutants are given a number from one (low levels) to 10 (high levels).
The Northern Ireland Air App
The Northern Ireland Air App can be downloaded free of charge to iPhone and Android devices. The app keeps you up-to-date about air pollution in Northern Ireland and gives you:
- easy access to the latest pollution levels from the monitoring sites
- colour-coded map showing the pollution forecasts
- approved health advice based on the pollution levels
- subscription to free alerts when moderate, high and very high pollution is forecast
Download the app:
If you suffer from a chronic illness that affects your breathing, such as asthma, or heart disease, you can receive alerts free to your mobile phone when levels are high.
Your local council may also have its own air quality information.
Rivers and Lakes
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) monitors the water quality of over 500 river sites and 21 large lakes. Biological and chemical quality is checked through monitoring. This information is then used to classify the quality of each river or lake on a five band system ranging from high to bad. This information is publicly available.
Over a six yearly cycle, NIEA assesses the health of the water catchments. NIEA also manages water resources sustainably, identifies actions to improve water quality and works to protect the water environment.
NIEA monitor the groundwater chemical quality of over 55 sites throughout Northern Ireland. This data alongside additional information is used to classify groundwater bodies as either good or poor status. More information is available on the DAERA website: