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Public Participation: Identification of Bathing Waters

Public participation in the identification of ‘Bathing Waters’ under the Bathing Waters Directive 2006/7 EC of 15th February 2006 and the Bathing Water Quality Regulations SI 79 of 2008

Local authorities must identify official bathing areas in their area every year so that they can be monitored for safety, water quality and their level of use. To help with this process, Longford County Council are asking people who swim at lakes and rivers to tell them if they think they should 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 also 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 an assessment the risk of pollution and what action would be taken if pollution occurs.

If you are a regular swimmer and want to help your 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 favourite lake/river, etc., as a new bathing water site please contact the Environment Section:-

By email – environment@longfordcoco.ie with ‘Identification of Bathing Waters’ as the subject line.

By post – Identification of Bathing Waters Submissions, Environment Section, Longford County Council, Great Water Street, Longford.

Closing date for submissions to Longford County Council is 22nd June 2018.