The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland 2007

Summary: Results collated by the EPA for the 2007 season show that the quality of bathing water in Ireland is good with 97 per cent (127 of 131 areas) of bathing areas complying with the mandatory standards specified in the EU Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC).

Published: 2008

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Pages: 26

Filesize: 581KB

Format: pdf

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The European Union has prescribed mandatory and guide bathing water quality standards for the protection of public health. There are currently 131 designated bathing areas in Ireland, of which 122 are seawater and 9 are freshwater.

Results collated by the EPA for the 2007 season show that the quality of bathing water in Ireland is good with 97 per cent (127 of 131 areas) of bathing areas complying with the mandatory standards specified in the EU Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC). The bathing areas that failed to comply with the minimum EU mandatory standards were: Balbriggan (Dublin Fingal), Clifden (Galway County Council), Youghal (Cork County Council) and Na Forbacha (Galway County Council).

80 per cent of bathing areas (105 of 131 areas) complied with the stricter guide values specified in the Directive. These guide values are quality objectives, which all bathing areas should endeavour to achieve.

The number of bathing areas complying with EU mandatory values in 2007 remains the same when compared with 2006. There was a 10 per cent decrease in guide compliance from 90 per cent in 2006 to 80 per cent in 2007 which was due, in general, to the higher than usual rainfall that occurred during the 2007 bathing season.

Six local authorities complied fully with the EU guide and mandatory standards for all of the designated bathing areas within their functional areas. These were: Donegal County Council, Dun-Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council, Galway City Council, Kerry County Council, Mayo County Council and Westmeath County Council.

Over the past ten years the quality of water at designated bathing areas in Ireland has remained high. Compliance with EU mandatory values has remained very stable between 95 and 99 per cent while compliance with the more stringent guide values has fluctuated between 79 and 92 per cent.

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