97% Of Irish Bathing Waters Meet EU Mandatory Standards

97% of Irish Bathing Waters met EU mandatory standards in 2012 according to The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA launched the report The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland – An Overview for the Year 2012 today.

The key findings of the report are:

• The bathing water season coincided with the wettest summer for over 50 years with many areas recording 2-3 times their expected summer rainfall.

• Despite this, quality of Ireland's bathing waters remained very high, with over 97 per cent of identified bathing areas (132 of 136) meeting the EU mandatory standards and classed as being of ‘sufficient’ water quality status. Almost 67 per cent of bathing waters (91 of 136) met the stricter EU guideline standards and are classified as being of 'good' status

• Three local authorities achieved ‘good’ status for all of their designated bathing areas, however, these accounted for only 8 of the 136 bathing areas

• Four bathing areas failed to comply with the minimum mandatory standards and were classified as having ‘poor’ quality status.

• One new bathing area was designated in 2012, bringing the total number of identified bathing areas to 136.

Commenting on the bathing water quality results, Ms Laura Burke, EPA Director General, said: "The quality of Irish bathing waters remains very high despite remarkably wet summer weather in 2012. Irish bathing waters continue to be among the best in northern Europe. While compliance with current bathing water quality standards is high, new stricter standards will take effect from 2014. These standards will place greater emphasis on developing systems for the management of bathing waters and on notifying the public about bathing water quality. We hope that visitors to Irish beaches can enjoy their experience knowing that our waters are of a high standard and that their health and the environment are being protected."


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