Sixteen of Donegal’s 21 identified bathing beaches have achieved ‘Excellent’ quality status in the latest Environmental Protection Agency report.
The 2019 report sets out the quality of bathing water at our beaches.
One beach in Donegal was downgraded this year, which was Portarthur, Derrybeg. The beach’s status dropped from ‘Good’ to ‘Sufficient’ in 2019. Sufficient is the minimum acceptable standard.
Lisfannon beach at Buncrana was upgraded from ‘Sufficient’ to ‘Good’.
Overall, the EPA found that bathing water quality improved across the country in 2019, although quality did decline at some locations.
Merrion Strand in Dublin was classified as ‘poor’ for five years in a row meaning this bathing water will be declassified as a bathing water in 2020.
Commenting on the report, EPA Director Dr Micheál Lehane said: “The improvements in bathing water quality are welcome and it is good to see Local Authorities identifying and classifying new bathing waters. Local authorities must remain vigilant to ensure public health is protected and continue to identify and fix sources of water pollution which impact on our beaches. The declassification of Merrion Strand after five years at poor status is disappointing and action must be taken to ensure that no other bathing water is declassified in future.”