2019 Bathing Water Quality

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The EPA has today published the Bathing Water in Ireland report for 2019 which sets out the quality of bathing water at our beaches.

Overall, bathing water quality improved across the country in 2019, although quality did decline at some locations.

Commenting on the report, EPA Director Dr Micheál Lehane said:

“The improvements in bathing water quality are welcome and it is good to see Local Authorities identifying and classifying new bathing waters. Local authorities must remain vigilant to ensure public health is protected and continue to identify and fix sources of water pollution which impact on our beaches. The declassification of Merrion Strand after five years at poor status is disappointing and action must be taken to ensure that no other bathing water is declassified in future.”

In summary the key findings in 2019 were:

95% of bathing waters (140 of 147) met or exceeded the minimum required standard. This is up from 94% in 2018.

107 (73%) were classified as ‘excellent’, up from 103 in 2018

24 (16%) were classified as ‘good’, up from 22 in 2018

9 (6%) were classified as ‘sufficient’, down from 12 in 2018

Two bathing waters – Inchydoney East Beach in Cork and Cúas Crom in Kerry – were newly identified in 2019 and will be classified later this year.

Three bathing waters, all in Dublin, were classified for the first time. They were: The Forty Foot Bathing Place (classified as ‘excellent’), White Rock Beach (classified as ‘excellent’), and Sandycove Beach (classified as ‘good’).

As in 2018 the water quality at five beaches was classified as ‘poor’. They were: Merrion Strand, Dublin, Portrane (the Brook) Beach, Dublin, Ballyloughane Beach, Galway, Clifden Beach, Galway, and Lilliput, Lough Ennell, Westmeath.

Merrion Strand was classified as ‘poor’ for five years in a row meaning this bathing water will be declassified as a bathing water in 2020.

Mary Gurrie, EPA Programme Manager added:

“Ireland has many beautiful beaches. Enjoying these natural amenities can be good for our physical and mental wellbeing, and it is therefore essential that Ireland maintains good bathing water quality. Throughout this summer water quality information and details of any incidents affecting bathing waters will be displayed on the www.beaches.ie website”

However, the EPA is reminding anyone using or swimming at beaches this year to follow the public health advice, the Government Roadmap to Reopening Society and Business, and any local information in relation to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Bathing Water Quality in Ireland 2019 (full report)

Bathing Water Quality in Ireland 2019 Infographic

Bathing Water Quality In Ireland 2019 Map

The EPA Bathing Water Team

About the author: The EPA are the environmental regulator. The EPA bathing water team make sure that local authorities carry out their functions under the Bathing Water Regulations and publish the annual bathing water quality report. The latest information about bathing water quality is always available on beaches.ie and you can follow us on Twitter for incident alerts - @EPABeaches