Waterford Live Reports: Waterford City and County Council must identify official bathing areas so that they can be monitored for safety, water quality and their level of use.
To help with this process, Waterford City and County Council is asking people who swim at beaches, lakes and rivers to tell them if they think they should maintain existing designated bathing waters designations or give a new official bathing area designation to areas that are commonly used for swimming, but not identified at the moment.
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 areas where local authorities focus their resources providing lifeguards during the summer season. These laws 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 area that could be a source of pollution. The profiles include assessing the risk of pollution and what action would be taken if pollution occurs.
If you are a regular swimmer and want to help the council decide which bathing areas should be classified as such, it might be helpful to consider the following:
How your swimming area has been used up to now
How many people use the site
What facilities exist at the site and how accessible it is
Any safety issues.
If you wish to propose your favorite beach/river as a new bathing water site or comment on an existing site, please visit www.waterfordcouncil.ie. Closing date for submissions to Waterford City and County Council is July 17.