Before you visit the beach this summer with your family or friends, check www.beaches.ie or our Twitter feed @EPABeaches, for information on current water quality and details of any incidents affecting bathing waters. When you get to the beach always check the local notice board to ensure the water quality is good before getting into the water for a swim.
Microplastics are a newly identified contaminant in water sources, including drinking water sources, across the world. Microplastics are very tiny (<5 mm) pieces of plastic which can come from a variety of different materials.
As microplastics are an emerging water quality issue, the impact of them on people’s health has not yet been fully assessed and determined. There is currently no water quality standard for microplastics in the Drinking Water Regulations. However, the EPA is keeping a close eye on European and Irish research in this area, and there may be a standard set in the future.
Pollution incidents should be reported in the first instance to the local authority in whose area the incident occurred as they can respond rapidly. The Local Authority will contact the Environmental Protection Agency if an EPA licensed activity is concerned. If you know it is an EPA licensed activity you should contact us directly as well as the Local Authority. Use the following link to obtain full details about how to Make an Environmental Complaint
This is primarily a matter for the relevant Local Authority, under the Water Pollution Act 1977. If, however, the Local Authority is not fulfilling its function, a complaint can be made to the EPA who will take up the matter with the relevant Local Authority to ensure pollution is not taking place.