Bathing waters 'among best in northern Europe'
WATER QUALITY at the county's five main beaches continues to be of a high standard, according to the latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.
Bathing water was monitored by the EPA throughout the 2013 bathing season for two microbiological parameters, E.Coli and Intestinal Enterococci and Duncannon beach was the only place where a negative sample was found. The results of the analysed samples were assessed for compliance with EU standards: the minimum quality standard (EU Mandatory values) and the more stringent quality standard (EU Guide values).
The Quality of Bathing Water in Ireland 2013 report found that Rosslare Strand, Curracloe, Morriscastle and Courtown all have good quality water, while Duncannon beach's water quality was of a sufficient standard in 2013.
For the 2013 bathing season, Duncannon achieved sufficient water quality status and complied with the EU mandatory values however water quality was very variable. Duncannon had good water quality status in the period 2003 to 2006 but only sufficient water quality status from 2010 to 2012, in 2008 and in 2007. It had had poor water quality status in 2009.
On August 9, 2013 following confirmation of elevated microbiological results for E. coli and Intestinal Enterococci, Wexford County Council contacted the HSE and EPA and a bathing prohibition notice was erected at the bathing water. The bathing water was re-sampled on later that day and results showed bacterial numbers had reduced to low background levels which facilitated removal of the prohibition notice. Courtown and Curracloe have the best water quality records in the county, having achieved 'good' results each year over the past decade. Rosslare Strand's water quality improved last years, having received a 'sufficient' rating in the previous two years, but the water was deemed of a good quality between 2004 and 2011.
Morriscastle received a 'good' status for every year barring 2011. Commenting on the bathing water quality results, Dr Matthew Crowe, Director of the EPA's Office of Environmental Assessment, said Irish bathing waters continue to be among the best in northern Europe.