Fingal County Council issues warnings over three beaches

Portmarnock, Claremont and Sutton among seven beaches affected by sewage contamination

Bathers at Portmarnock beach   should take extra care after an “overflow” from a sewage plant. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Bathers at Portmarnock beach should take extra care after an “overflow” from a sewage plant. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Fingal County Council has warned bathers at Portmarnock, Claremont, and Sutton beaches to take extra care after an “overflow” from a sewage plant in Portmarnock. The warning followed heavy rainfall on Monday.

The warning is in addition to the prohibition on swimming at Balbriggan, Skerries, Loughshinny and Rush which remains in place.

It brings to seven the number of beaches now affected by issues surrounding sewage contamination.

In a further advisory notice the council has warned of a drinking water “outage” in the Skerries area, from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday.

Following the overflow incident in Portmarnock the council stopped short of advising against bathing. But it said bathers at Portmarnock, Claremont and Sutton should avoid swallowing or splashing water, wash hands after bathing and before handling food, avoid swimming if they have an open cut or a wound and avoid swimming of they have a weakened immune system or are pregnant.

Fingal County Council said it was “taking a precautionary approach” in issuing the warnings. Water samples were taken at all seven locations on Tuesday and sent for testing with the results due before the end of the week.

In a statement the council said it issues prohibitive and advisory notices in respect of bathing waters when there is a suspected or anticipated pollution event.

Forbidden

Meanwhile swimming remains forbidden at four north Dublin beaches because the water has been contaminated by a suspected sewage discharge from a waste-water treatment plant.

The beaches affected are Skerries south beach, Balbriggan front strand beach, Rush north beach and Loughshinny beach.

Fingal County Council issued the no bathing warning on Saturday.

The council said it welcomed the announcement by Irish Water that they are planning to decommission the existing septic tank at Loughshinny and hope to sign contracts later this year for a €7.3 million upgrade to the sewerage network in Rush.

The council said “members of the public intending to enter the water at any beach in Ireland are advised to check the water quality in advance by accessing the EPA website at http://splash.epa.ie/# or checking the notice board at the entrance to each beach”.