Four beaches given 'poor' water quality standard

Four of Ireland's bathing areas have failed to meet mandatory water quality standards last year.

Four beaches given 'poor' water quality standard

Four of Ireland's bathing areas have failed to meet mandatory water quality standards last year.

The Environmental Protection Agency has said that of 136 bathing areas, Clifden Beach in Co Galway, Fountainstown in Co Cork, Rush in Co Dublin and Ballyheigue in Co Kerry were given 'poor' quality status.

The EPA said last summer's wet weather is to blame as low levels of pollution were caused by wastewater storm overflows.

The wet weather also caused run-off from towns and farms where animals were grazing and manure had been spread.

However, the agency maintains the quality of Ireland’s bathing waters remains very high, with more than 97% of beaches classed as being of 'sufficient' water quality status.

Water quality at Clifden was "markedly influenced affected by discharges from the nearby sewage works discharge" and remains closed to the public.

Fountainstown suffered from "episodic but persistent pollution".

Ballyheigue failed solely due one "very uncharacteristic" sample which exceeded both the mandatory standard for E.Coli and guide value for Enterococci.

In the case of Rush, five of the nine samples reported exceeded the E.Coli guide value with one exceeding the mandatory standard for E.Coli due to a wastewater pumping station discharge.

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