This document presents findings and results for 2005 on the quality of Ireland's bathing waters.
Summary: Bathing water quality has generally improved over the past decade. In 2005, 96% (126 of 131 sites) were compliant with the mandatory standards specified in the EU Bathing Water Directive.
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Results for 2005 show that the quality of bathing water in Ireland is very good with 96% (126 of 131 sites) of bathing areas complying with the mandatory standards specified in the EU Bathing Water Directive. 91% of bathing areas (119 of 131 sites) comply with the stricter guide values specified in the Directive. These guide values can be regarded as quality objectives which all bathing sites should endeavour to achieve. Assessing compliance with Irish standards shows that 82% (107 of 131 sites) of bathing areas comply with national standards.
In Ireland, the primary legislation governing the quality of bathing waters is set out in the Quality of Bathing Waters Regulations, 1992 (S.I 155 of 1992) and amendments, which transposed the EU Directive 76/160/EC concerning the quality of bathing water. The national Regulations set more stringent limits for some parameters than in the EU Directive and all parameters specified are used by the EPA in assessing compliance with the Regulations in contrast to the European Commission which uses a sub set of parameters in assessing compliance with the Directive. The overall quality of bathing waters remains very good. The number of sites complying with EU mandatory values in 2005 shows a reduction of 2% when compared with 2004.
However, guide compliance has increased by 3% from 2004 to reach 91% in 2005. There was a 6% increase in the compliance rate with National Standards in 2005 when compared with 2004.
All designated bathing areas were compliant with National and EU standards in each of the following Local Authorities:
Donegal (19),Dun-Laoghaire/Rathdown (2),Galway City (2),Louth (4),Mayo (15),Westmeath (3) andWexford (6)