Public Participation: Identification of Bathing Waters

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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, DĂșn Laoghaire-Rathdown
County Council are 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 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 issue

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