Sandycove bathing water quality consistently the worst in DLR in 2019

by Gary Ibbotson

Data released from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has shown that the bathing water quality in Sandycove was consistently the worst in the county throughout the year.

Documents published by the local authority outlines the water quality from a number of bathing spots in south Dublin including Sandycove, Killiney, White Rock, Seapoint and The Forty Foot.

In assessing the quality of the bathing spots, the levels of E.Coli and Enterococci bacteria – which can cause gastroenteritis and urinary tract infections- are tested at 21 times throughout the year.

While the E.Coli and Enterococci levels at White Rock, The Forty Foot and Killiney constantly recorded at very safe levels, Sandycove and Seapoint often contained an abundance of the dangerous strains of bacteria.

In Sandycove, E.Coli hit severe levels at four points during the year with another two tests recording poor concentrations.

At the same bathing area, Enterococci recorded at dangerous levels at three points during the year with another four tests showing poor concentrations.

Speaking on the situation, Fine Gael councillor Lorraine Hall said, “it is very concerning that bathing water quality at Sandycove has on occasions throughout the year registered as worse than nearby places including White Rock, the Forty Foot and Killiney. 

“Given the huge number of swimmers at Sandycove, it is very important that the Council get to the bottom of why this is happening and work to ensure that bathing water quality is maintained to the highest standard possible.”

In a statement to Dublin Gazette, Irish Water said that “bathing water quality can be impacted by a number of factors, such as unlicensed discharges, run off from the catchment during and after heavy rainfall, dog and bird fouling.”

However, the authority says that it is “not the statutory body responsible for bathing water quality.

“Irish Water manages the public wastewater network, and notifies the EPA and relevant Local Authority of any incidents/overflows that can affect bathing water quality during the designated bathing water season (1st June to 15th Sept annually).”

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council says that “the elevated bacterial levels (which resulted in bathing water quality falling below a Good Quality standard) in the bathing water which occurred at Sandycove in late June, mid-August and early December this year were known to coincide with periods of heavy rainfall and consequent stormwater overflows which adversely impacted on bathing water quality.”

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