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30/08/19 Bathing Prior Warning Notice

Due to today's status Yellow weather warning for rain and forecasted heavy rain for the weekend Prior Warnings are being put in place at 4 Beaches for the next 5 days.  


The Beaches are as follows:


  • Lisfannon
  • Ladys Bay
  • Bundoran
  • Fintra


The heavy rain causes storm water to run of fields and houses into the river, which usually deposits into the bathing waters resulting in a higher than normal E.coli.  


To reduce the risk of illness, beach users should take the following precautions: 


  • Avoid swallowing or splashing water
  • Wash your hands before handling food
  • Avoid swimming with an open cut or wound
  • Avoid swimming if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system.


Higher levels of bacteria are usually short-lived and most bathers are unlikely to experience any illness.


Monitoring of bathing water quality


Donegal County Council carries out routine monitoring of bathing water quality in accordance with the 2008 Bathing Water Quality Regulations for the purpose of protecting the health & well-being of bathers.


These regulations recognise that short term pollution events may occur as a result of heavy rain, as this causes storm water to run of fields and houses into rivers, which usually deposits into the bathing waters resulting in a higher than normal E.coli.  This has been experienced in Donegal over the past few weeks.


In advance of heavy rain, the Council will issue a Prior Warning Notice to advise the public not to swim due to a potential decrease in bathing water quality. These advisory notices will predict the length of time the event and its impact on water quality will last which is usually 48-72 hours.


Once the event has passed the notice will be removed and bathing may resume as normal.


What happens if there is a drop in water quality?


In the event that routine testing indicates a significant drop in water quality, the Council in consultation with the Health Service Executive, will issue a Temporary Bathing Prohibition notice warning people not to swim as doing so may cause illness.


This restriction can only be lifted on agreement with the HSE when a subsequent sample of bathing water has confirmed the end of the event and a return to excellent water quality.


The Council informs the public through the EPA’s and our own social media channels.


We would like to thank the general public for their co-operation in complying with the advice given and notices issued over the course of the 2019 bathing season, which has seen rainfall at levels above the average for the time of year.


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