Green Party Councillor Donna Cooney has today welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendations for additional water quality monitoring at beaches where there are large numbers of off-season swimmers. With many people now swimming outside the summer bathing season, the EPA is calling for local authorities to increase their monitoring capacity and to provide this information to the public.
Cllr Cooney, a long-time campaigner for clean bathing water, commented on the recommendations: “I am so delighted, having campaigned for this extension of the bathing season and testing for very many years, this is really great news.”
“I am also pleased that the results show an improvement in many bathing waters, including waters in Dublin City. However, it is concerning that the EPA warned that Irish Water still needs to improve the management and treatment of urban wastewater, which has been a problem for many years now. I am calling for real-time monitoring at the Ringsend waste treatment centre, which has been cited as the most common source of overflow pollution in Dublin”.
The expert group on Bathing Water Quality are due to meet this Thursday. As the EPA, An Taisce, and CoastWatch are likely to make recommendations to extend the bathing water season testing to the Minister, Cllr Cooney is hopeful that this will be a success for sea swimmers. Cllr Cooney and representatives of Northside Sea Swimmers will meet with the Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, and Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, next week to discuss the issue.
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