County Council wants to know where you swim so it can identify “official bathing areas”

County Council wants to know where you swim so it can identify “official bathing areas”

22 May 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

County Council wants to know WHERE people swim so that it can identify “official bathing areas”

This isn’t a case of big brother, it is just that Local Authorities are required to identify “bathing areas” in their region each year, so that they can be monitored for safety, and water quality by scientists.

To help with this process, Cork County Council are inviting those who swim at beaches, lakes and rivers to provide their feedback to assist in determining the status of bathing waters throughout the county.

Responses will help the Council to ascertain if bathing areas should maintain existing bathing waters designations or if there are additional locations commonly used for swimming that should receive a new official bathing area designation.

While Irish Water have taken over many water services, Cork County Council still takes samples of water from official bathing areas on a regular basis during the summer bathing season. This allows the Council to warn swimmers if the water is polluted.

Under European and Irish law, Irish Local Authorities must identify bathing waters each year so that these areas can be monitored to ensure they meet stringent microbiological water quality standards. In some cases, the official bathing areas are also the locations at which Local Authorities focus their resources to provide lifeguards during the summer season. These laws also require that the Local Authority prepares detailed descriptions or profiles for each of the identified bathing water sites that describe not just the bathing area, but also areas in the surface waters catchment that may be a potential source of pollution. The profiles include an assessment of the risk of pollution and what action would be taken if pollution occurs.

If you wish to propose your favourite beach or river as a new bathing water site or comment on an existing site, please forward your submission to beaches@corkcoco.ie. Closing date for submissions to Cork County Council is 22nd June 2020.

To make a submission, please use the EPA Guideline document for the public & relevant application form (Annex 1) is completed and returned with supporting documentation in order to inform a fuller assessment of any submission. https://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/water/bathing/public_advice_bathing_water.pdf

For further information contact Keith Kenrick, Municipal District Operations on 021 4285982 or see www.corkcoco.ie for information on bathing waters in Cork County,

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