15 Donegal beaches rated as excellent for bathing water quality

Almost three-quarters of all identified bathing waters in the country were classed as excellent

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

15  Donegal beaches rated as excellent for bathing water quality

Fifteen of Donegal's 21 beaches monitored by the EPA  for bathing water quality have been rated as excellent.

Three were rated as good, one as sufficient and two are new additions to the EPA’S monitoring.

None of Donegal’s beaches breached the minimum  EU standards

The Bathing Water Quality in Ireland report for 2016 showed the only change in the county was at Lisfannon near Buncrana which was rated as excellent in 2015 and downgraded to good for 2016.

The Donegal beaches rated excellent are Ballyhiernan, Bundoran, Carrickfinn, Culdaff, Downings, Drumnatinny, Fintra, Killahoey, Marble Hill, Murvagh, Naran, Port Arthur, Portsalon, Rossnowlagh and Shroove.

Three, Lisfannon, Portnablagh, and Rathmullan, are listed as good.

Lisfannon just exceeded the threshold for excellent quality due to Enterococci counts.

The EPA said these waters continue to be of extremely high quality with few pollution sources or events identified.

Portnablagh shows very variable Enterococci counts and just exceeded the criteria for excellent quality.

Rathmullan showed consistently poorer water quality in 2016 than in previous years for E.coli in particular.

Lady’s Bay at Buncrana was rated as sufficient for the third year. The EPA said Lady’s Bay appears to exhibit episodic low-level pollution possibly arising from wastewater discharges.

The EPA said Doohey and Magheroarty were newly identified in 2015 and currently have insufficient samples for full classification but would appear to be likely to meet excellent quality in 2017 given current performance.

Almost three-quarters of all identified bathing waters in the country, 102 of 140, were classed as excellent – one more than 2015. A further 18 were classed as good, five more than in 2015.

Ninety-three per cent of identified bathing waters, 130 of 140, met minimum EU standards.