Safe to Swim? Check Bathing Water Quality with New EPA Website

The EPA has just launched a new website to provide vital information to beach users about bathing water quality at Ireland’s beaches and lakes. The website allows people to easily access up-to-date information before they hit the beach.

EPA bathing water quality website

The sandy beach at Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow allows people to find out what the recent water quality has been like at their regular beach, if any swim restrictions are in place, what the weather is likely to be and even what time the tide is due in. The site also provides information on the amenities available including access to beach wheelchairs and it also makes it easy for people to report any environmental incidents.  

The website will be updated continually during the summer as results of monitoring become available from local authorities. The information is based on local authority monitoring of water quality, Met Eireann weather forecasts and Marine Institute tidal information.

Commenting on the launch Andy Fanning, EPA Programme Manager said: “With schools closing and the summer in full swing, will provide people with the information they need when choosing which beach or inland bathing water site to visit during the long and hopefully warm summer. It is important that local authorities inform the general public when pollution occurs or is predicted at our beaches so that we can all make an informed choice as to where and when to swim.”

If you plan to head to the beach this summer the EPA has some sage advice to keep safe and make the most out of enjoying the coast.

  • Check the website before your trip
  • Take note of warning signs: Always observe any closure, advisory, or safety hazards signs; they’re there for your safety.
  • Know the warning flags: Never swim where a sign says not to or when the red flag is flying. The red flag is flown when there is a water safety risk e.g. the presence of dangerous under-currents.
  • Respect your surroundings: Take a ‘leave no trace’ approach to prevent and minimise harm during your next summer trip.
  • Use the ‘See it Say it’ App to report any environmental concerns: By taking a quick photo, and adding a few details, this app makes it easier to make a complaint about issues such as dumping of litter or other environmental problems.
  • Avoid harm from sun exposure: Apply sunscreen with a high SPF to reduce the intensity of the sun rays.
  • Never go swimming alone: It’s safest to swim with a friend but at the very least, always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Don’t drink and swim.

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22