Friday 30 September 2016

Sea swimming warning over sewage threat

Published 14/06/2016 | 02:30

The EPA said the worst swimming spots were the Front Strand, Duncannon, Rush South beach, Loughshinny, Ballyloughane and Merrion Strand
The EPA said the worst swimming spots were the Front Strand, Duncannon, Rush South beach, Loughshinny, Ballyloughane and Merrion Strand

Open-water swimming in the sea, lakes, rivers, reservoirs or canals is no longer just for recreation - it has taken on a whole new popularity with the rise of triathlons and other competitive events.

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But how safe is it? Swimmers are at particular risk from diseases caused by sewage of animal faeces. A few precautions can make a swim safer, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. These include:

• Check the noticeboard at the bathing spot, the SPLASH website, or the relevant local authority website to ensure there are no current incidences

• Avoid swimming after heavy rainfall

• Avoid swimming in water that looks dirty

• While swimming cover cuts or wounds with waterproof plasters

• Avoid splashing water into your mouth or swallowing water

• Consider wearing appropriate protective clothing such as a wetsuit, gloves or protective footwear

• After swimming clean hands with soap and water as soon as possible after leaving the water, and before eating or drinking

• Clean any cuts or wounds with soap and water

• Rinse any swimming equipment, bathing suits or wetsuits with clean water as soon as possible after leaving the water and clean as per the manufacturers' instructions. Clean hands with soap and water after handling swimming equipment, bathing suits or wetsuits.

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