The EPA works with the HSE and local authorities to ensure that designated beaches and lakes, known as 'Identified Bathiing Waters' are safe to swim in. Results are published on during the designated bathing season from June 1 to 15 September.

Who does what? 

  • Local authorities: Local authorities are responsible for managing and monitoring identified bathing waters. They arrange for water samples to be taken and analysed throughout the bathing season and they maintain facilities. Local authorities also report and investigate pollution events and carry out measures to reduce or remove any sources of pollution.  
  • EPA: We are the environmental regulator. We make sure that local authorities carry out their functions under the Bathing Water Regulations 
  • HSE: The HSE gives advice to local authorities on public and environmental health issues related to bathing water.  
  • The public: The public can make representations to their local authorities to identify new bathing waters. They can also help by keeping their local beaches clean. 

Beaches and bathing waters: 

We classify bathing water quality at our beaches and lakes as ‘excellentgoodsufficient or ‘poor. Information is regularly updated during the designated bathing water season, which runs from 1 June to 5 September.  

For up-to-date information on your local bathing waters quality, tides, weather and accessibility, go to

How water quality is monitored at our bathing waters? 

To assess water quality at our bathing waters, local authorities take water quality samples just before the bathing season begins and then at regular intervals during the season. In Ireland, the season runs from 1 June to 15 September each year.  

Local authorities must take samples at least once a month. However, many local authorities sample once a fortnight, and even once a week in some areas.   

When we classify the quality of the water at a beach or a lake, we base the classification on water testing results over the previous four years, rather than just the past season’s information, or the information from the most recent sample taken.   

Swimming in Ireland can be a year-round activity in some locations. However, for the purposes of assessing bathing water quality, we only use results from the bathing season. 

Image showing how water quality is assessed