Mayo bathing waters among the cleanest in Ireland

Bathing waters in Mayo are among the cleanest in Ireland according to a report published this week.

The bathing waters at all 15 Mayo beaches have met the EU mandatory standards and were considered ‘good’ by the Environment Protection Agency who released its findings in a report entitled The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland - A Report for the Year 2008.

Waters which were examined were either awarded a good, sufficient or poor classification, with all Mayo waters receiving the highest award.

Nationally 93 per cent of bathing waters have met the EU mandatory standards and were classified as sufficient or good but this represents a disappointing four per cent drop in the number of bathing areas which comply.

Poor weather conditions experienced during the 2008 summer would have been a contributory factor as well as other underlying issues. Thankfully, however, Mayo’s waters were not affected and have retained their high standard, proving Mayo is a top destination for holidaymakers in Ireland this summer.

The Mayo bathing areas which were examined include Bertra, Carrawmore, Doogort, Dooega (Achill ), Elly Bay (Belmullet ), Golden Strand (Achill ), Keel (Achill ), Keem (Achill ), Ross Strand (Killala ), Old Head (Louisburgh ), Silver Strand (Louisburgh ), Mullaghroe (Belmullet ), Mulranny, Rinroe (Carratigue ) and the Harbour (Clare Island ).

The results of water samples taken by the EPA were assessed for compliance with two sets of EU standards: The minimum EU mandatory values and the stricter EU guide values, with all Mayo bathing areas found to be compliant with both standards and achieving good water quality status.

Dr Michael Lehane, programme manager, EPA, commented: “Local authorities should continue to ensure that all surface water management infrastructure is adequately maintained to deal with heavy rainfall during the summer months. They should also ensure, where applicable, adherence to good agricultural practices around bathing areas in order to minimise risk of failures due to run-off during heavy rainfall events”.

The findings of the report, along with a map of the quality of Ireland’s bathing water, are available on the EPA website at www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/water/bathing/

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