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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 19 June, 2019
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Like swimming in Ireland? The bathing water is classified as 'poor' in these locations...

Irish Water is pledging to clean up seven of our least tempting bathing areas.

Image: Shutterstock/trekandshoot

Updated at 8am

IRISH WATER HAS pledged to clean up our worst bathing waters after seven of the country’s bathing spots were described as ‘poor’.

The latest EPA Bathing Water Quality Report was published yesterday, and included a number of beaches where there was sewage in the water.

In response, Irish Water said that the “failing” beaches in many instances are because of sewage discharges where the infrastructure is inadequate.

Poor water

The bathing waters which have been classified as ‘Poor’ are:

  • Front Strand Beach, Youghal, Co Cork
  • South Beach, Rush, Co Dublin
  • Ballyloughane Beach, Galway City
  • Clifden Beach, Co Galway
  • Ardmore Beach, Waterford
  • Lilliput, Lough Ennel, Co Westmeath
  • Duncannon, Co. Wexford

Irish Water projects are already underway to bring these sites up to the required standards as soon as possible.

Irish Water said this problem highlights how years of under-investment in providing adequate waste water collection and treatment “has presented a risk to the quality of nearby bathing waters”.

It added that Irish Water is focused on addressing the fact that 44 towns around the country that have no waste water treatment at all.

Jerry Grant, Head of Asset Management at IW, said:

It is not acceptable in a modern economy that so many of our towns are discharging raw sewage directly into the environment and that so many of our waste water treatment plants fail to regularly operate to environmental standards.

Bills bills bills

The first Irish Water bills recently landed in the letterboxes of some households. Grant said that customer revenue will be invested to improve wastewater treatment capacity and effluent discharge standards across the entire network, “but in particular where the complete lack of treatment is impacting the local environment and the local economy”.

He said that billions are needed to be invested in the Irish Water infrastructure, and that its utility model allows it to borrow money from capital markets and invest it in essential infrastructure improvements.

Some of these projects are expected to be completed as early as this summer, and other works are being progressed this year.

The Front Strand Beach, Youghal is 90% complete with the main construction delayed due to a road collapse, it said.

Quiz: Can you tell where these Irish beaches are?>

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