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E-coli traces found in bathing water at three Clare holiday resorts

The beaches at Lahinch, Kilkee and Spanish Point have all been closed after traces of the bacteria were found.

Lahinch beach
Lahinch beach
Image: Ger Leddin

CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL was forced today to prohibit swimming and watersports at three of the county’s popular beaches after traces of e-coli were found in the water.

The decision to close the beaches at Lahinch, Kilkee and Spanish Point was taken in consultation with the Health Service Executive  (HSE).

The Blue Flags at Lahinch and Kilkee beaches in Clare have been removed until water quality results return within Blue Flag water quality limits.

Clare County Council issued a statement on its website this evening, saying:

The results of routine tests on water samples at the three beaches have shown up traces of e-coli. Staff from the environment section of Clare County Council and the HSE conducted further tests today (Friday), the results of which will be known on Sunday. Resumption of swimming will be recommended when results return within bathing water quality limits

It is believed that the exceptional wet weather over the past two months and the resulting run off into the sea has had a negative impact on bathing water quality at the three resorts.

Anne Haugh, Director of Services with Clare County Council, said that the Council has consulted with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), An Taisce and the HSE in relation to the water sample test results, which show that each of the three bathing areas are presently within the mandatory limits as stated in the bathing water regulations.

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Levels of contamination in water samples in Lahinch were lower than those detected in Kilkee and Spanish Point. However, a decision has been taken, based on the advice of the HSE, to prohibit swimming at the three bathing areas as a precautionary measure. Public drinking water supplies are not affected, Haugh added.

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