Three beaches in Ireland have poor water quality and people are advised not to swim there, an Environmental Protection Agency report has found.
Balbriggan’s Front Strand Beach, Lady’s Bay in Buncrana and An Spidéal’s Trá na mBan have various issues - which include wastewater discharges, run-off from urban and agricultural lands and dog fouling.
97% of Ireland’s beaches meet the minimum standard and 117 were of excellent water quality - two more than the previous year.
Several beaches, including Portrane, the Brook Beach in Dublin and Trá na bhForbacha in Galway, had improved from poor to excellent over a period of several years.
EPA Programme Manager Mary Gurrie said investment in water infrastructure has made a significant difference.
“The local authorities are responsible for designating the bathing waters and managing them throughout the bathing season - which is from 1st June until 15th September,” she said.
“The EPA then has our role [which] is to classify water bodies and make sure local authorities are managing them properly.
“Good management and also investment in waste water infrastructure over the last number of years has improved the quality overall.”
The EPA carries out its survey of Ireland’s beaches annually.
Main image: File photo of Owenahincha Beach in West Cork on 21st July, 2021 Image: Antoinette Mason / Alamy Stock Photo