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Water notices at 15 Cork beaches after heavy rain

High levels of bacteria have been detected at some beaches in the county.

Storm damage at the Warren in Rosscarbery.
Storm damage at the Warren in Rosscarbery.
Image: Cork County Council

WATER NOTICES WILL be in place at 15 beaches in county Cork until at least Thursday, 3 September, following heavy rainfall.

High levels of bacteria have been detected at Oysterhaven and Redbarn and, following discussions between Cork County Council and the HSE, ‘Do Not Swim Prohibition Notices’ have been placed on both beaches.

In addition, raised bacteria levels have led to an ‘Advisory Not to Swim Notice’ at Youghal, Claycastle beach.

Heavy rainfall in the last week has caused pollutants to be washed from surrounding catchments into the river network and onward to the sea.

“This has the obvious potential to impact on bathing water quality and for that reason, Cork County Council is obliged to post precautionary notices at all beaches that might be affected,” a spokesperson said.

“Although the stormy weather can present safety issues at some locations, Cork County Council environment staff continue to take water samples at beaches across the county and will be reviewing results for individual beaches over the coming days.”

Physical damage

The recent storms have also had physical impacts on some beaches. The access pontoon at Barleycove was damaged by Storm Ellen and has had to be removed for repair. Access to the beach will be restricted for the immediate future, the council has said.

The Warren in Rosscarbery suffered a landslide near the cliff walk. The walkway is now closed and assessment of the damage is ongoing.

At Coolmaine Beach, the Kilbrittain river channel has changed direction significantly, creating a dangerous fast-flowing channel running parallel to the bathing area.

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“On the advice of water safety staff, due to dangerous currents, the beach is closed for all aquatic activities until further notice. Members of the public are advised to be extremely cautious and stay away from the area.

“Cork County Council would like to stress to the public that when visiting beaches and coastal areas you should always exercise caution and familiarise yourself with all safety signage and ring buoy locations. Swim only at lifeguarded beaches and under no circumstances take inflatables into the open water,” the spokesperson said.

In the event of an emergency, people should call 999/112.

The latest updates on beaches in Cork and elsewhere can be read here.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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