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Date released: May 26 2009
The quality of Ireland’s bathing waters remains high, with 93 per cent of designated bathing areas meeting the EU mandatory standards, and classed as being of ‘sufficient’ water quality status. This is according to findings released today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its report The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland – A Report for the Year 2008. The EPA noted however, that this represented a four per cent decrease in the number of bathing areas reaching ‘sufficient’ water quality status compared to results for the preceding year.
Commenting on the report, Dr Micheál Lehane, Programme Manager, EPA said:
“The drop of four per cent in the numbers of bathing areas complying with the minimum EU standards is disappointing. Poor weather conditions experienced during the 2008 summer would have been a contributory factor. Nevertheless, there are underlying issues at the majority of these particular sites, and problems may recur unless all necessary actions are implemented. The vast majority of designated bathing beaches in Ireland are of good quality and continue to make for an excellent natural and recreational resource for all who wish to use them”.
The bathing areas are classified as follows:
The key findings from this assessment show:
Dr. Lehane continued:
“Adequate measures, including the provision of appropriate waste water treatment facilities must be expedited insofar as possible for a number of bathing areas that are at risk of not meeting minimum bathing water standards. Local authorities should continue to ensure that all surface water management infrastructure is adequately maintained to deal with heavy rainfall during the summer months. They should also ensure, where applicable, adherence to good agricultural practices around bathing areas in order to minimise risk of failures due to run-off during heavy rainfall events”.
The findings of the report The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland – A Report for the Year 2008, along with a map of the quality of Ireland’s bathing water, are now available on the EPA website.
Further information: Niamh Leahy, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)
Note to Editors:
EU Mandatory Standards: These are the minimum standards that the water quality at bathing areas must achieve over the bathing season.
EU Guide values: These are stricter guideline standards that bathing areas should endeavour to achieve over the bathing season.
View compliance and water quality status of all designated bathing areas.
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