THE Mayor of Fingal has expressed concern following a series of recent swimming bans at local beaches.
On the week beginning July 27 four separate incidents resulted in the posting of ‘Do Not Swim’ notices at Skerries South Beach, Loughshinny, Velvet Beach Portmarnock and Rush South Beach.
According to Fingal County Council, an increase in bacteria levels in the bathing waters of the affected beaches led to the swim ban.
“There was a stormwater overflow from the sewage network at Portmarnock Strand following heavy rain locally on July 27.
“There were high microbiological levels from the scheduled samples taken at Loughshinny Beach and Skerries South Beach which required a prohibition notice to be issued as such deterioration in water quality can mean a greater risk of illness to bathers.
Mayor of Fingal, Green Party Cllr David Healy, said the pollution of local beaches is “worrying”.
“It’s not exceptional rainfall, it happens every summer in Ireland,” he said.
“This is the same kind of problem that’s being repeated every summer.
“These ongoing problems Irish Water are having with rainwater and overflowing sewers, which are leading to pollution of beaches and potential health hazards for the public, are due to an overall lack of investment in, and by, Irish Water.
“It’s a question of prioritisation.
“These incidents cannot cannot continue, they are occurring on a worrying basis.”
In response to Mayor Healy’s remarks, a spokesperson for Irish Water told Northside People:
“The building, repair and upgrading of Irish Water’s water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, water and sewer network will require a multi-billion euro investment programme over many years.
“Irish Water is committed to providing a safe and reliable water supply, protecting the environment and supporting the growth of homes and businesses.
“In preparing the Investment Plan, Irish Water has optimised investment decisions by prioritising the best possible service improvements, while maximising value-for-money.”