The EPA has today published the Bathing Water Quality in Ireland report for 2022. It shows that water quality at the majority of Ireland’s bathing waters meets or exceeds the appropriate standards. 79% of bathing sites have ‘Excellent’ water quality while 97% meet the minimum standard.
7 bathing waters in Co. Wexford are at the highest standard they are Ballinesker, Ballymoney North Beach, Carne, Courtown north Beach, Curracloe, Morris Castle and Rosslare strand.
In particular, the EPA highlights two beaches that have improved from Poor to Excellent quality over recent years: Portrane, the Brook Beach in Dublin, and Trá na bhForbacha, Na Forbacha in Galway. This shows that with investment and a strong focus by the local authorities in finding and fixing the issues, water quality will improve.
Unfortunately, there were no new bathing waters identified in 2022. The EPA urges local authorities to designate more official bathing sites to protect swimmers’ health, which includes designating the large number of beaches and popular swimming spots that they monitor but which haven’t been formally identified as bathing waters.’
The number of beaches with poor bathing water quality increased to three, compared with two in 2021. These will have a swimming restriction for the 2023 season. They are Balbriggan (Front Strand Beach), Lady’s Bay, Buncrana and Trá na mBan, An Spidéal with different issues including wastewater discharges, run-off from urban and agricultural lands as well as dog and other animal fouling playing a part.
At some beaches, heavy rainfall can lead to wastewater overflows or run-off from urban and agricultural lands which can lead to a temporary deterioration in bathing water quality. Further information on bathing water and updates on monitoring results during the bathing water season (1st June to 15th September) is available at http://www.beaches.ie