Public Participation in the Identification of Bathing Waters for 2017

Closeddate_range20 Jun, 2016, 3:56pm - 1 Feb, 2017, 5:00pm


Want to know how the team at Fingal keep our beaches safe and clean?

The Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 set out our obligations for bathing water quality checks and public information during the bathing season. We take 10 samples in total,1 before and 9 during the bathing season, far in excess of the minimum requirements. Samples ar taken fortnightly from the end of May to mid September.  

Bathing water quality on Fingal beaches is generally classified as Good or Excellent, and you can check water quality results for our beaches on the EPA website . If we get test results that don't meet the standards we have a process in place for notifying beach users. You can read more about this process in our Water Pollution Incidents section. 

We monitor 11 beaches in Fingal for water quality. For beach locations see our Beachessection. 10 of these beaches are identified bathing waters. Identified bathing waters are sea, river or lake surface waters that we consider to be widely used by the public for bathing. Every year you, the public, can take part in indentifying bathing waters in Fingal. You can read more about this process below.   

Public Participation in the Identification of Bathing Waters for 2017

Tens of thousands of people have been enjoying a dip at Ireland’s pristine lakes, rivers and beaches during the recent sunny weather.  What most swimmers don’t know is that City and County Councils 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 them with this process, Fingal County Council are now asking people who swim at beaches, lakes and rivers to tell them if they think they should maintain existing identified bathing waters designations or give a new official bathing area designation to areas that are commonly used for swimming but not designated at the moment.

 Under European and Irish law, City and county councils 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 Council’s focus their resources providing lifeguards during the summer season.  These laws also require that the Council 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 in pollution happens.

If you are a regular swimmer and want to help us decide which bathing areas should be identified for 2017, 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 wish to propose your favourite beach/river etc as a new bathing water site or comment on an existing site please refer to the following

Closing date for submissions is 1st February 2017.


3 submissions have raised observations relating to this consultation.


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