Water quality at five Dublin beaches judged ‘poor’

Beaches fail to meet EU standards due to surface pollution and sewage discharges

In south Dublin, Merrion and Sandymount Strands failed failed to meet EU water quality standards due to polluted surface waters, drainage “misconnections” and bird fouling. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

In south Dublin, Merrion and Sandymount Strands failed failed to meet EU water quality standards due to polluted surface waters, drainage “misconnections” and bird fouling. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

A marked deterioration in water quality at beaches in the Dublin region is outlined in the latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bathing water report.

A third of 15 monitored bathing areas in the county failed to meet EU standards in 2017, and have been classified as “poor” and vulnerable to periodic pollution.

Nationally only seven bathing areas failed to meet mandatory regulations, and are considered a possible public health risk from illness such as skin rashes or gastric upset.

In south Dublin, Merrion and Sandymount Strands failed due to polluted surface waters, drainage “misconnections” and bird fouling.

In north Dublin, Loughshinny (due to urban sewage and septic tank discharges), Portrane (septic tank discharges and surface waters run-off) and Rush South (sewage discharges) failed.

Deterioration

Over the past four years nine of the 15 Dublin monitored bathing waters “have shown deterioration in water quality”.

The other two beaches classified as “poor” were in Co Galway – Clifden beach and Ballyloughane in Galway city. Nearly 75 per cent of 142 bathing locations, including monitored lakes, are of “excellent” standard, while 132 of 142 identified waters “provide a high level of protection for bathers”.

“Our assessment shows urban beaches are under greater pressure . . . More needs to be done to eliminate sources of bacterial contamination that are particular to urban locations,” said Andy Fanning of the EPA office of evidence and assessment.