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Bathing Waters

Bathing Water

Stakeholders Workshop 29 April 2015
Responsibility for Bathing Water Quality
Bathing Water Quality Regulations
Blue Flag Beaches
Public Consultation


Stakeholders' Workshop - Silver Springs Hotel Athlone - 29th April 2015

Invitation to Stakeholder Workshop (doc, 114kb)

Responsibility for Bathing Water Quality

Local authorities are responsible for bathing water quality in their areas in addition to monitoring bathing water quality and making information available to the public on water quality during the summer bathing season.

EPA Bathing Water Quality Reports (external site)


Bathing Water Quality Regulations

Bathing Water Quality Regulations were made in March 2008 (following a public consultation)  transposing the EU Bathing Water Directive of 2006 into Irish law.

SI 79 of 2008 – Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008  (pdf, 171kb)
SI 351 of 2011 - Bathing Water Quality (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (pdf,100 kb)

Blue Flag Beaches

The Blue Flag Scheme is administered in Ireland by An Taisce (external site) , the National Trust for Ireland, with financial assistance from this Department. It is a voluntary, non-statutory scheme. It is operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) – an NGO. The quality criteria set for Blue Flags, and the awarding of a Blue Flag are matters solely for the European Jury of FEE.

To apply for Blue Flag status, a beach must, be a designated bathing area under Bathing Water Quality Regulations and must comply with the guideline standards laid down in the EU Bathing Waters Directive. These two conditions must be met in the bathing season (1 June to 31 August) of the year prior to application.

To gain a Blue Flag, the bathing areas must also comply with additional criteria in relation to the facilities available and general management, at the beach. In addition, evidence of plans for environmental improvements as well as future environmental education projects are also taken into account when the decision to award a Blue Flag is made.

An Taisce Blue Flag Scheme (external site)

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