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Irish bathing water quality improved in 2011

However, there was a drop in the amount of beaches reaching ‘good’ status. Ireland will have to redouble its efforts to maintain and improve bathing water quality standards, Minister Phil Hogan said today.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE QUALITY OF bathing water in Ireland improved between 2010 and 2011, a new report shows.

Phiil Hogan, TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, welcomed the publication of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland overview for 2011.

Minister Hogan expressed his satisfaction with the overall results, but noted that there was a net decrease of six locations complying with the higher ‘guide’ standard.

The results for the 2011 bathing season show that overall, the quality of bathing water in Ireland improved in comparison with the 2010 equivalent. Overall, 98.5 per cent (133 out of 135) of bathing areas complied with the EU mandatory standard, equating to ‘sufficient’ water quality. This is the highest number complying with the EU mandatory standard since 2000.

Meanwhile, 83 per cent (112 bathing areas) achieved the higher guide standard, equating to ‘good’ water quality.

Also in 2011, five new beaches were identified and the number of designated bathing waters increased for the first time in Ireland in 10 years, rising to 135.

In 2011 the Bathing Water Quality Regulations, which were introduced in 2008, become operational.

Minister Hogan said Ireland will have to redouble its efforts to maintain and improve bathing water quality standards. The stricter criteria  in the higher guide standard requires local authorities to make extra efforts to improve the water quality and to tackle any potential sources of pollution.

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