Swimming ban at Portmarnock, Balbriggan, Skerries beaches

Notices issued following overflows at pumping stations at Portmarnock and Balbriggan

A beach  view at Portmarnock, Co Dublin.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

A beach view at Portmarnock, Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

A ban on swimming has been imposed at beaches in Balbriggan and Skerries and reimposed at Portmarnock following a “serious” incident at pumping stations in Portmarnock and Hampton Cove in Balbriggan.

“Do not swim” notices were issued by Fingal County Council for Velvet Strand Beach at Portmarnock, Balbriggan’s Front Strand Beach and Skerries South Beach as a precautionary measure following overflows at nearby pumping stations due to technical problems.

An initial ban had already been imposed at Velvet Strand in Portmarnock last week due to fears of water contamination.

Being treated as serious

Irish Water has assured chief executive of Fingal County Council Paul Reid that they are treating the overflows at Portmarnock Strand and Hampton Cove pumping stations as serious and that engineers are currently on site at both stations.

Mr Reid said Irish Water had prioritised the matter and were “doing everything they can to resolve the situation as soon as possible”.

The do not swim notices will remain in place until the results of water sampling tests are released to the council on Thursday. The notices are due to be removed if the results are clear.

Fingal County Council says it has issued the no-swimming notices as a precautionary measure in case water quality deteriorates following a “suspected pollution event”.

Members of the public intending to enter the water at any beach in the Republic are advised to check the water quality in advance by accessing the EPA website or by checking the noticeboard at the entrance to each beach.