Westmeath citizens are to get their annual chance to comment on the county’s public bathing locations over the next three weeks, in line with an EU Directive on water standards.
The 2008 ruling sets out the stringent microbiological standards required across the 27 nations in order to protect and maintain the health of people who bathe there.
In light of recent beach closures in Clare and Cork because of elevated E.coli levels, Westmeath County Council confirmed it tests all bathing water within its jurisdiction every fortnight throughout the swimming season, and tests all samples itself.
These results are then made available to the public, and can be viewed on www.bathingwater.ie In line with the directive, each of the 34 city and county councils in the State is inviting interested members of the public to offer their comments and opinion on existing designated bathing sites, and to suggest new sites that may yet qualify for such a designation.
In Westmeath at the moment there are three such designated sites: Lilliput, Lough Ennell; Portnashangan, Lough Owel; and The Cut, Lough Lene. Contrary to popular belief, Coosan Point on Lough Ree is not included.
Submissions are invited to be sent to the Environment Section of Westmeath County Council before September 14.