EPA Bathing Water Quality Report Published

The publication of the latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Bathing Water Quality in Ireland Report, has been welcomed by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy.

The EPA reports further improvements in the quality of Ireland's bathing waters compared with last year. 103 of the 145 designated bathing waters are classified by the EPA as 'excellent'; 22 are now classified as 'good' and 12 were classified as being of 'sufficient' quality.

The Minister also welcomed the designation of new bathing waters. Three new bathing waters have been designate at Dooey and Magheraroarty in Donegal; and at Seafield Quilty in Clare. All three new sites received an 'excellent' classification.

A further three bathing waters at Forty Foot Bathing Place, Sandycove Beach and White Rock Beach were newly identified in 2018 and will be classified following the 2019 bathing season.

Minister Murphy said: "Today's report from the EPA shows that nationally, Ireland has excellent standards of bathing water. High-quality bathing waters are a great natural amenity and I would like to acknowledge the work of the many people who contribute to keeping them at such a high standard. We must continue to protect water quality on our beaches.

"I am concerned at the ongoing issues contributing to poor water quality at a small number of our 145 designated bathing waters. Consistently 'poor' designations must be addressed as a matter of priority.

"In the cases of Merrion and Sandymount Strands, a number of complex issues are contributing to the poor designations. Nevertheless, they must be tackled quickly through collaborative action across the local authorities concerned.

"Intensive consultations are ongoing at a senior technical level between my Department, Dublin City Council, and the EPA in this regard and I look forward to seeing progress in the short term."

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