Bans continue on bathing at two Dublin beaches after E. coli detected

Animal and surface water contamination suspected at Killiney and White Rock

An official from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council taking samples from the shoreline at Killiney, in discussion with a swimmer. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

An official from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council taking samples from the shoreline at Killiney, in discussion with a swimmer. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

 

Bathing bans at two of south Dublin’s most popular beaches, Killiney beach and the adjoining White Rock cove, are expected to remain in place until at least the weekend, due to bacterial contamination of the water.

The beaches were closed last Saturday because of elevated levels of E.coli found in tests. Fresh samples were taken on Tuesday, but it is not expected the bathing prohibition will be lifted before the weekend.

In relation to White Rock beach, a small, sandy cove accessed from Vico Road, or Killiney beach at low tide, the poor water quality is likely “due to suspected impacts from animals/birds” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Killiney Beach remains closed to swimmers over worries about water quality. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times
Killiney Beach remains closed to swimmers over worries about water quality. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

At Killiney beach the issue is suspected to be a combination of pollution associated with animals or birds and “contamination of urban surface waters discharging into bathing water”.

Both beaches recorded “excellent” water quality results for much of last year’s bathing season.

Killiney beach regained its blue flag earlier this year after a five-year absence. The EPA, which oversees the monitoring of bathing waters by local authorities, began to test White Rock last year for the first time.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has advised the public not to swim at these locations until further notice and said updates would be issued on its website, on social media outlets and at each of the designated bathing areas.

Testing at bathing locations was resumed recently, coinciding with the traditional summer swimming season. More testing has been sought due to the big increase in year-round swimming which has occurred during the pandemic.