Ireland’s bathing waters are continuing to improve in quality with the majority of EU-designated beaches of excellent or good quality, according to the latest audit undertaken by the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA report for 2018 showed that 94 per cent of the 145 identified bathing waters met the minimum EU standards last year, with more than 100 beaches classified as excellent.
The findings show 103 bathing waters were classified as excellent in 2018, up from 102 in 2017; 22 bathing waters were classified as good, up from 18. Improvements were made in three bathing waters previously classified as poor.
The report highlighted that urban waste water was “the most common pressure impacting bathing water”. Two thirds of last year’s tally of pollution incidents were blamed on urban wastewater, run-off from urban areas and misconnections where waste pipes from households have been incorrectly connected to surface drains.
The fact that just over over half the incidents were due to problems with urban wastewater systems underlined the need to improve the infrastructure, stressed the EPA
Problems with beaches along Dublin’s coastline persist. Three of the five waters classified as being poor are in this area. One is at risk of being declassified as a bathing location, reported the agency.