revMay 18th, 2017
Three-quarters of bathing waters in Ireland were classed as excellent in 2016, a new EPA report has found.
The EPA report – Bathing Water Quality in Ireland – A Report for the Year 2016 – found that overall quality of our bathing waters are very good, with 130 of 140 identified waters meeting strict EU standards.
- 93% of identified bathing waters (130/140) meeting minimum EU standards
- 3/4 of all identified bathing waters (102/140) were classed as ‘Excellent’
- Six coastal bathing waters failed to meet the minimum mandatory standard and were classified as ‘Poor’ (-Dublin: Merrion Strand, Portrane, Loughshinny -Galway: Ballyloughane, Tran a bhForbacha and Clifden)
This is good news as the bathing season is about to begin. Officially, the Irish bathing season is designated as being from 1st June to 15th September. The vast majority of Ireland’s bathing waters are excellent and meet stringent standards for water quality.
From 2014 onwards, bathing water compliance requires assessments to be undertaken using a statistical methodology using data covering a four-year period. Previous assessments were done on an annual basis based on percentage compliance. The new standards are approximately twice as strict as previous ones.
There are currently four possible classifications for bathing water quality ‘excellent’ ‘good’ ‘sufficient’ and ‘poor’. Any waters graded as ‘poor’ require that management measures be put in place to identify and eliminate the sources of pollution. The mandatory requirement is for ‘sufficient’ quality.
If you want to find out more about bathing spots you can visit the dedicated EPA website splash.ep.ie
A Twitter notification service @EPABathingWater is also available to provide incident alerts and information of interest to bathers.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Dr Matt Crowe, Director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Evidence and Assessment said:
All bathers are entitled to feel that they and their loved ones are safe from harm from the water they swim in when they spend a day at the beach. More needs to be done to provide a greater level of protection for bathers at beaches and other bathing areas vulnerable to pollution. It is simply unacceptable to have popular bathing areas classified as being of poor quality.