Tuesday 20 August 2019

Majority of Wexford's EU bathing spots are excellent

Curracloe Beach which is one of five EU bathing waters in Wexford with an 'Excellent' classification.
Curracloe Beach which is one of five EU bathing waters in Wexford with an 'Excellent' classification.

By Esther Hayden

Five of the six EU identified bathing waters in County Wexford achieved compliance with the new stricter standards of 'Excellent' or 'Good' bathing water quality according to the most recent Environmental Protection Agency report - The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland - 2014.

Those waters which achieved the 'Excellent' standard rating included: Ballymoney North Beach, Courtown North Beach, Curracloe, Morriscastle and Rosslare Strand.

Throughout 2014, Local Authorities tested 136 EU identified bathing waters together with many other smaller, or less well used, waters with 94% of identified bathing areas meeting new stricter EU standards. These are almost twice as strict as those previously applied. Bathing season runs from June 1 to September 15.

In County Wexford water quality at Duncannon was reported as being of 'Poor' quality however this is based on an assessment covering results from 2011 to 2014. These waters can be influenced by pollution particularly after heavy rainfall. At the present time water quality at Duncannon has been generally very good.

The EPA advises bathers in County Wexford that they can check current bathing water quality using the Splash website, The website has an interactive, colour-coded map that allows people to check out any of the 136 EU identified bathing waters. Before deciding on the best place to swim, you can find the latest reported water quality, and check if there is any bathing water warning or notification in place at your chosen location. Bathers can also follow the EPA on Twitter @EPABathingWater and receive text updates on any bathing water incidents.

Peter Webster, Senior Environmental Scientist, said: 'We would hope that all visitors to beaches in County Wexford can enjoy good quality bathing water and clean modern facilities, knowing that their health and the environment are being protected. Splash can help families, holiday makers and bathers in County Wexford by providing current information on identified bathing waters and the latest water quality at their local beaches.

'We would also encourage Wexford residents to download and use the 'See it, Say it' App. We all have a role in protecting the environment and the 'See it? Say It!' App will help those enjoying the summer sun to easily report environmental incidents whether at the beach or taking a stroll in the countryside. By taking a quick photo, and adding a few details, this app makes it easier to make an environmental complaint about issues such as dumping of litter and empowers people to take pride in their environment and to report these matters to local authorities.'

From 2014 onwards bathing water compliance requires assessments to be undertaken using a statistical methodology using data covering a four year period, as opposed to previous annual assessments based on percentage compliance. The new standards are approximately twice as strict as previous ones and have affected the Duncannon results as a result.

Wexford People

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