Air and water quality

You can check both the air quality and how clean your waters are and also have the right to access environmental information from public bodies.

Air quality

Local air quality information is collected at 19 sites across Northern Ireland for the following pollutants:

  • nitrogen oxides
  • sulphur dioxide
  • lead
  • particulate matter
  • benzene
  • carbon monoxide
  • ground level ozone

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs' (DAERA) AirqualityNI website gives live local air quality information. Levels of pollutants are given a number from one (low levels) to 10 (high levels). 

You can also find out what the latest air pollution levels are like and get forecasts from the DAERA  Air Pollution Bulletin service.

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.

Water quality

Rivers and Lakes

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) monitor 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.

Catchment Planning

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. River basin management - DAERA website


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. Further information is available at: Groundwater -  DAERA website

More useful links

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