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  • Southside

Poor results for Southside beaches in EPA report

Friday, 7th June, 2019 8:00am
Poor results for Southside beaches in EPA report
Poor results for Southside beaches in EPA report

TWO of the Southside’s most popular beaches have fallen foul of a recently released Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.

Bathing waters at both Sandymount Strand and Merrion Strand have been described as ‘Poor’ in the 2018 EPA Bathing Water report, which was published last week.

Both Southside amenities join the only other Dublin beach, Portrane (the Brook) Beach on the dubious list which also includes Lilliput (Lough Ennell) in Co Westmeath and Clifden in Co Galway. 

The report examined bathing water quality during the long hot summer of 2018. Overall, 94 per cent of the 145 identified bathing waters met the minimum EU standards last year, with over 100 beaches classified as ‘Excellent’.

However, this is the fourth year that Merrion Strand has been classified as Poor while Sandymount Strand has been classified as Poor for the past two years.

Three other Southside bathing waters, the Forty Foot Bathing Place, Sandycove Beach and White Rock Beach were newly identified in 2018 and will be classified following the 2019 bathing season.

The report states that: “Bathing at sites classified as having ‘Poor’ water quality means that there is a risk of periodic microbiological pollution which could potentially cause illness such as skin rashes or gastric upset.

“Under the Bathing Water Regulations, local authorities are required to put in place notifications for the entire bathing season advising the public against bathing. This could include a bathing prohibition if a serious pollution incident occurs.”

Andy Fanning, the Programme Manager of the EPA’s Office of Evidence and Assessment, said more intensive action needs to be taken by local authorities to address the issues and protect the health of bathers.

“It is great to see local authorities identifying new bathing waters with excellent water quality,” he said. “At the other end of the scale, we have five bathing waters that have been classified as Poor.”

Jenny Deakin, EPA Senior Scientific Officer, added: “Ireland has many beautiful beaches and some inland bathing waters with excellent water quality.

“The report covers the 145 EU identified bathing waters. It also provides information on 72 other waters that are not covered by the legislation that are monitored by the local authorities because bathing or recreational activities take place there. 

“During the summer, current water quality information and details of any incidents affecting bathing waters will be displayed on the website If you are heading to the beach with your family or friends, check the website before heading out. Most importantly, when you get to the beach always check the local notice board to be sure the water quality is good before you dip your toe.”

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