The EPA has today published the Bathing Water in Ireland report for 2019 which sets out the quality of bathing water across the country’s beaches.
Overall, bathing water quality improved in 2019, although quality did decline at some locations.
However the fifth successive fail for Merrion Strand in Dublin bay has seen it suffer the ignomy of becoming the first Irish beach to be handed a permanent swimming ban
It has failed to meet minimum EU standards for the fifth consecutive year. The ban will take effect from June 1st, with signs warning people to keep out of the water.
The Irish Times reports today “The main difficulty at Merrion strand is the impact from two polluted streams which flow on to the beach; the Elm Park and Trimleston streams.”
The Herald reports: ”A task group was set up to investigate the problems last year but multiple sources of pollution have to be addressed and then two years of clean samples produced.
That means cleaning two heavily polluted streams that flow on to the beach.”
The EPA said: “These streams are polluted by a combination of misconnections where domestic plumbing goes into the wrong pipe and directly into the stream; leaks, spills and overflows from wastewater collection systems; and run-off from roads.
“Other potential sources of pollution, that need more investigation, include urban wastewater discharges, birds and dogs.”
However by some contrast the EPA reports notes that 89% of the country’s 147 official bathing sites were rated as either ‘good’ or ‘excellent.’
Diblin’s famous Forty Foot was rated for the first time and declared “excellent” as was White Rock Beach in Killiney, while Sandycove beach rated “good”.