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Beaches in Fingal are 'the worst in the country'

FINGAL has the worst beaches in the country, according to a survey by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The study shows that nine out of the 131 beaches in the country fail to meet the minimum EU water quality standards -- and three of those are based in North Dublin's Balbriggan strand, Skerries South Beach and Burrow Beach in Sutton.



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Although Sutton and Skerries are new additions to this year's list, Balbriggan was identified last year as having one of the lowest quality bathing water.

The council last night said the beaches failed because of heavy rainfall causing overflow at pumping stations, overflow from septic tanks and onsite treatment plants.

It called for upgrades to wastewater treatment facilities, which would address the problems, but they were dependent on funding and approval from the Department of Environment.

However, South Dublin's Sandymount Strand, Merrion Strand, Seapoint and Killiney were all highlighted as having high quality water.

Bathing water quality records stretch back to 1991 and the numbers have remained poor since 2008.

In Galway, Clifden once again made the list and EPA bosses said the area was of "particular concern", and Westmeath Lilliput at Lough Ennel also failed once more.

According to the EPA's Micheal Lehane: "Local authorities need to take action to ensure that bathing waters failing to comply with the EU minimum standards are improved."

cmcbride@herald.ie


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