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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Heavy rainfall sparks more swimming bans on beaches

Published 19/07/2014 | 02:30

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Recent flash flooding has made water unsuitable for swimming in at certain beaches, with bans imposed

KERRY County Council has warned that water quality at a number of beaches could be affected in there is heavy rain.

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Met Eireann predicts showers in the south and east later today, and the council has put advisory notices on beaches warning there may be some water quality issues if the forecasted downpours happen.

Warnings are in place in Ballybunion, Fenit and Ventry, among others.

There was also bad news for swimmers in the capital after Dublin City Council said it had to continue to advise against swimming on Sandymount Strand. A complete ban was imposed last Monday after water failed to meet standards, and it was intended to lift the prohibition yesterday after tests came back all-clear.

However, heavy rainfall in the area resulted in an emergency overflow drain being activated, which caused an overflow on to the strand.

"As a result of this and in consultation with the HSE, it has been decided, as a precaution, to replace the temporary Prohibition of Bathing Notice with a Bathing Water Advisory Notice," the council said.

"This notice does not prohibit bathing, but recommends that people do not bathe at this location until such time as it can be established through water quality testing that the quality of the bathing water in Sandymount satisfies the requirements of the Bathing Water Regulations 2008."

Results of sampling will be available on Monday, at which point it will be decided whether to lift the ban. A ban also remains in place at Lough Ennell in Westmeath until next week, due to suspected sewerage contamination.

However, bans have been lifted by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, meaning swimming can resume at White Rock and Killiney.

"Following consultation with An Taisce, the Blue Flag can go back on Killiney beach," a council spokesman said.

"The cause of the contamination is not known."

Irish Independent

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