The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland 2008

Summary: In 2008, the quality of Ireland's bathing waters remains high with 93 per cent of bathing areas (122 of 131 areas) complying with the minimum EU mandatory values and achieving sufficient water quality status.

The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland 2008

Published: 2012

Pages: 19

Filesize: 693 KB

Format: pdf


From 2007 to 2008, the proportion of bathing areas of sufficient water quality decreased by four per cent.  Of the nine bathing areas that failed to achieve sufficient water quality status, six were seawater and three were freshwater.  Since reporting began in 1991, this is the highest number of bathing waters classified as poor and the first year all freshwater bathing areas did not achieve sufficient water quality status. 

In 2008, 78 per cent of bathing areas (102 of 131 areas) complied with the guide values and achieved good water quality status.  From 2007 to 2008 the proportion of bathing areas of good water quality decreased by 2 per cent.

The lower proportion of bathing areas achieving sufficient and good water quality status is due, in general, to the higher than usual rainfall that occurred during the summer of 2008.

Of particular note, all of the designated bathing areas within the following five local authority areas achieved good water quality status: Donegal County Council, Galway City Council, Kerry County Council, Mayo County Council and Meath County Council.

While the overall level of bathing water quality remains acceptable, a small number of bathing areas are consistently classified as poor.  Adequate measures including the provision of appropriate waste water treatment facilities are required if these bathing areas are to comply with EU standards.  Furthermore, given the higher rainfall in recent summers, measures need to be taken to minimise its effects on bathing waters including adherence to good agricultural practices.