Our Dataset of the Month for August 2015 is Bathing Water Quality.
Our Dataset of the Month for August 2015 is Bathing Water Quality 2015
Fingal has 12 beautiful beaches located along its 88 kilometer coastline.
9 of these beaches are designated bathing areas which are monitored, managed and assessed for water quality under the Bathing Water Quality Regulations, 2008 (S.I. No. 79 of 2008). The Regulations:
- focus on the protection of bather health by means of strict standards for water quality and an assessment method;
- establish a proactive approach for the assessment of possible pollution risks and the management of bathing waters;
- promote increased public involvement and improved dissemination of information on bathing water quality to the public.
Fingal County Council monitors the water at these beaches from mid-May to September every year. Information is made available to the public on the total number of 2 different bacteria i.e. Escherichia Coli and Enterococci, present in the water. The Bathing Water Regulations set out strict microbiological threshold values for these bacteria, which significantly reduce the risk of contracting gastro-intestinal illness from bathing. These bacteria are not visible and so water samples are taken and tested in a laboratory. The number of bacteria in a 100ml sample of seawater is recorded. Samples are taken at least every two weeks.
Brook Beach, Portrane
- Escherichia Coli count must be less than 2,000 per 100ml for 95% of all samples to comply with the Mandatory Value, and less then 100 per 100ml for 80% of samples to comply with the Guide Value.
- Enterococci must be less than 100 per 100ml for 90% of all samples to comply with the Guide Value. Please note that there is no the Mandatory Value for Enterococci.
These data from these measurements is contained in the Bathing Water Quality 2015 Dataset.
This data is also displayed in graphs on noticeboards at each beach.
The Regulations also specify a classification system for bathing water quality based on four classifications 'Excellent’, ‘Good’, 'Sufficient' and ‘Poor’. The classification of bathing waters is determined, in general, on the basis of a four-year period instead of the monitoring results from a single bathing season. This means that the classification is less susceptible to bad weather or one-off incidents. The classifications for each Bathing Water area are displayed on the national Splash website managed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Blue Flag Status
To achieve Blue Flag Status the quality of bathing water must comply with the Guide Value. Water quality classifications are made using results covering a four year period rather than just the past season’s results and against stringent bacterial limits designed to increase the protection of bather health.
Examples of Reuse
Splash - National Bathing Water website
Bathing Water Quality 2014
Bathing Water Quality 2013
Bathing Water Quality 2012
Bathing Water Quality 2011
Bathing Water Quality 2010