Local authorities must identify official bathing areas in their area every year so that they can be monitored for safety, water quality and their level of use. To help with this process, Monaghan County Council are asking people who swim lakes and rivers to tell them if they think they should maintain existing designated bathing waters designations or give a new official bathing area designation to areas that are commonly used for swimming, but not identified at the moment. Monaghan County Council has presently no designated bathing waters and the vast majority of bathing waters in Ireland are at coastal locations.
Under European and Irish law, Irish local authorities must identify bathing waters each year so that these areas can be monitored to ensure they meet stringent microbiological water quality standards. In some cases, the official bathing areas are also the areas where local authorities focus their resources providing lifeguards during the summer season. These laws also require that the local authority prepares detailed descriptions or profiles for each of the identified bathing water sites that describe not just the bathing area but also areas in the surface waters catchment area that could be a source of pollution. The profiles include an assessment the risk of pollution and what action would be taken if pollution occurs.
If you are a regular swimmer and want to help your Council decide which bathing areas if any should be classified as such, it might be helpful to consider the following:
- How your swimming area has been used up to now;
- How many people use the site;
- What facilities exist at the site and how accessible it is;
- Any safety issues.
If you have a submission to make on the identification of bathing waters you can do so by clicking on the link below:
Closing date for submissions Monaghan County Council is 9th June 2022