Bathing Water Expert Group Year Round Swimming in Ireland Survey Results

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The National Bathing Waters Public Survey was written by the Bathing Water Expert Group who operate under the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and advise on how to implement the bathing water directive in Ireland.

Under the bathing water directive, designated bathing waters are monitored to help protect swimmer’s health during the designated bathing season, which runs from 1 June to 15 September.

There has been significant growth in the numbers of people swimming all year round, so the bathing water expert group issued a survey to help inform potential options for protecting swimmer’s health.

The survey collected information on swimmers’ behaviors and attitudes, to obtain a better understanding of how to support out-of-season swimmers. Covid-19 had seen a huge surge of interest in year-round swimming due to restricted travel, health & fitness and the need for social contact.

  • The survey was open for 3 weeks from 20 April 2022 to 6 May 2022
  • The survey consisted of 25 questions, a mix of drop down and free text boxes
  • There were 2297 responses.
  • Of these, 65% were in the greater Dublin area and 35% across the rest of the country.
  • Whilst sea swimming was most popular, there were significant numbers of people using lakes and rivers

The survey results are now available:

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 and you can follow us on Twitter for incident alerts - @EPABeaches