Michael Staines
Michael Staines

20.19 25 Jun 2019


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Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has said that the orange-coloured water at Dublin's Sandycove Beach is not connected to a wastewater overflow into Dublin Bay.

Swimming bans remain in place at four Dublin beaches after the second overflow at the Ringsend water treatment plant this month.

It comes as temperatures are expected to hit highs of 27C on Thursday and Friday.

The swimming bans are in place at Seapoint, Sandycove, the Forty Foot and Dollymount.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said the notices were put in place “as a precaution” after heavy rains on Sunday and Monday sent wastewater flowing into Dublin Bay.

The water quality has been tested at all four swimming spots and a decision on whether to life the bans will be taken as soon as the results are in.

After the bans were announced, locals in Dun Laoghaire complained that the water had turned a dark orange in places along the coast.

In a statement this evening however, the council said tests had shown that the colour comes from a non-toxic algae called from Noctiluca scintillans.

It said the “benign, non-toxic, species” is not directly associated with the waste water overflows that led to the bans.

“We have been advised that this is a natural summer phenomenon in response to long day length, high nutrients and warm water,” it said.

“These blooms have been reported along the east coast for the past few weeks and are typical for this time of the year.”

It said the algae emits bright sparkles of blue bioluminescence at night when it is disturbed by the waves.

Bathing prohibitions unrelated to the wastewater overflow are already in place at Sandymount and Merrion beaches due to “general water quality issues.”


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