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Bathing Prohibition – Dunmore East Main Strand

 

Due to poor quality water results, a temporary bathing prohibition notice has been put in place for the Main Strand in DunmoreEast.

The prohibition will remain in place until compliant water quality results are returned.
Waterford City and County Council apologises for any inconvenience caused.

Ten flags flown at Waterford’s Blue and Green Coast beaches

Waterford’s coastline was recently recognised by An Taisce as three beaches were awarded the prestigious Blue Flag and seven the Green Coast Award Flags.

The Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised awards for beaches. The programme promotes environmental education, sustainable development of tourism, environmental management systems and ensure safety and access for beach users.

According to Katia Hunter, Executive Scientist with Waterford City and County Council, the awarding of the Blue and Green Coast Flags is a great endorsement of Waterford’s coastline.

“The beaches that received the Blue Flag in 2023 are Ardmore, Clonea and Tramore beaches.  All of these beaches not only returned excellent bathing water results, but a series of stringent environmental and safety-related criteria were also met.

“The Green Coast flags were awarded to Annestown, Ballyquin, Curragh, Goat Island Beach, Guillamene Cove, Newtown Cove and Kilfarrassey, as they all demonstrated excellent water quality, and were appropriately maintained and managed to ensure the protection of the natural environment.”

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’ Leary commended not only the Local Authority’s Environment Department, but also the work of voluntary groups that dedicate themselves to ensuring an unspoilt environment for all to enjoy.

“The work of volunteers from groups such as Clean Coasts, Tidy Towns, and ecological groups, have made huge inroads in assisting in the maintenance and management of our coastline and its amenities.

“These volunteers are passionate about preserving our natural environment, whether it’s through litter picking, wildlife conservation management or developing educational programmes.  By enhancing our natural amenities, they are heightening the enjoyment we can all derive from our beaches and coastline.”

Blue Flag began in Ireland in 1988 with 19 beaches and 2 marinas being awarded. Since then, the Blue Flag programme has grown from strength to strength with 84 beaches and 10 marinas being awarded in 2023.

Each year Blue Flag is awarded to over 4,500 beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators in 49 countries globally. Beaches are awarded for the bathing season (June 1st to September 15th in Ireland) and marinas are awarded for up to 12 months, depending on their period of operation. The awarded sites for Ireland are announced at the end of May each year.

-ends-

Images – free to use:

Tramore 1: Martin Kerins, Katia Hunter and Ella Ryan of Waterford City and County Council with Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary

Tramore 2: Members of Clean Coasts (Tramore Tidy Towns and T-Bay Surf Club) with Waterford City and County Council staff and Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr. John O’Leary.

Tramore 3:Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary and Katia Hunter, Executive Scientist, Waterford City and County Council

Clonea 2: Ms Hayes 3rd and 4th class from Garranbane National School, Elaine Doyle Clean Coasts Development Officer, Clare Morrissey, Mary Power and Yvonne Whelan Dungarvan Bay Open Water Swimmers, with Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary.

Clonea 4; Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary, Katia Hunter and Claire Morrissey

About An Taisce:

An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, operates the programme in Ireland on behalf of the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE).

The Blue Flag programme is funded in Ireland by the Department of the Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Bathing Prohibition Notice – Councillors Strand, Dunmore East

A bathing prohibition notice has been placed at Councillors Strand, Dunmore East, as a precaution due to elevated bacteria levels in the water.

Waterford City and County Council advises the public not to swim at Councillors Strand until the notice is lifted.

Further testing will take place over the coming days and the prohibition notice will be reviewed based on ongoing sampling results.

Public Participation: Identification of Bathing Waters

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, Waterford City and County Council is asking people who swim at beaches, 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.

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 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 wish to propose your favourite beach/river etc. as a new bathing water site or comment on an existing site please visit https://bit.ly/IdentificationOfBathingWaters2023

Closing date for submissions to Waterford City and County Council is 28/9/2023.

The bathing water quality results and annual classification of bathing waters can be viewed at www.beaches.ie. The latest available EPA report Bathing Water in Ireland Report can be viewed here: https://www.epa.ie/publications/

-ENDS-


Note to editors:

Local authorities are required under the Bathing Waters Directive and the Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 (SI No 79 of 2008) to identify bathing waters on an annual basis. The Directive requires that water quality at all designated bathing waters meets stringent microbiological standards in order to protect the health of people who choose to bathe there.

Latest Bathing Water updates

For our latest bathing water quality results, please see https://www.waterfordcouncil.ie/departments/water/bathing-water/bathing-water-quality.htm

Updates

  • A prohibition notice is in place at Tramore Pier following on from last year’s investigations.
  • Bonmahon has been reopened.
  • Boatstrand has a temporary bathing prohibition notice due to high enterococci as a result of the recent high rainfall. To be resampled on Wednesday.

Kilfarrassey receives the Green Coast Award for the 2022 Bathing Season

Waterford Council were delighted to accept our 5 Blue Flag and 7 Green flag designations at a recent ceremony in Wexford where Kilfarrassey was the latest #Waterford beach to achieve Green Flag status.

Pictured above, Ian Diamond, An Taisce; Katia Hunter, Waterford City and County Council; Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD; Shane Dineen of Fáilte Ireland celebrate the award of 5 Blue Flags and 7 Green Coast Awards to beaches in Waterford for the 2022 Bathing Season at the 2022 Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards Ceremony at Curracloe Beach, Co. Wexford on Friday 20th May 2022.

The Green Coast Award recognises beaches for their clean environment, excellent water quality and natural beauty. Green Coast Award sites are exceptional places to visit and enjoy our rich coastal heritage and diversity. The Green Coast Awards were presented back in 2003 to four beaches in County Wexford, it was rolled out nationally in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

An important aspect of the Green Coast Awards is the involvement of Clean Coasts groups of which there are currently over 1800 comprised of tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide. These volunteers participate in community clean-ups and in cooperation with Local Authorities help sensitively manage their local beaches throughout the year.

  • Ballynamona Beach in County Cork has been awarded a Green Coast Award for the first time this year.
  • Cork is the county with the most Green Coast Award beaches once again in 2022 with 15.
  • Mornington in Meath and Oysterhaven in Cork both last awarded in 2020 have been awarded for the 2022 season.
  • Kilfarrassey in Waterford last awarded in 2018 and Balcarrick Beach, Donabate in Fingal, last awarded in 2016 have both been awarded for the upcoming season.
  • 5 Beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag a Green Coast Award for the 2022 season, they are:
    Balcarrick Beach, Donabate in Fingal; Baile an Sceilg (Ballinskelligs) in Kerry; Salthill and Silverstrand in Galway City and Trá Inis Oirr in Galway.

In the Republic of Ireland the Green Coast Award is operated by An Tasice’s Environmental Education unit with the support of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Fáilte Ireland. An International Award the Green Coast Award is coordinated Northern Ireland and Wales by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Keep Wales Tidy respectively.

Ten Drown Every Month – One Third After Drinking Alcohol – St. Patrick’s Day Festivities raise drowning risk

Water Safety Ireland is appealing to those enjoying the St Patrick’s festival weekend to stay away from waterways when consuming alcohol. There are ten drownings every month in Ireland and alcohol is a contributory factor in one third.*

A full moon on Friday makes the coastline more precarious due to the resulting tides. A higher high tide poses a greater risk of being washed into the sea or being dragged away by a rip current. Lower low tides tempt coastal walkers to explore further from shore, posing a greater risk of being stranded by fast, incoming tides.

It is important to check tide times in advance of going on a walk and to carry a fully charged phone to dial 112 in an emergency. Those boating and angling are cautioned that their decisions, even the next day, can be significantly impaired by alcohol. A lifejacket that has a correctly fitting crotch strap, should always be worn on water and when
angling from shore.

Most drownings occur on inland waterways where water temperatures are still cold. Winter weather can often undermine ordinarily familiar walkways. Falling into water at this time of year can result in cold shock and hypothermia which can quickly lead to the cooling of muscles, incapacitation and drowning. Cold shock and hypothermia are also risks faced by open water swimmers who should keep swims short and
warm up quickly afterwards.

Water Safety Ireland’s ‘Better Safe, Than Sorry’ appeal:
1. Alcohol is a factor in one third of drownings – never mix alcohol with water activities.
2. Wear a correctly fitting lifejacket when boating and angling from shore and have a means of communication in a waterproof pouch.
3. Beware of stranding by incoming tides. Carry a charged phone at all times and in an emergency, call 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
4. Stay away from edges, particularly where there is slippery, unstable or uneven ground.
5. Visit www.watersafety.ie/open-water-swimming for comprehensive open water swimming advice.
6. Half a million primary school children will enjoy St Patrick’s Day festivities but many will lack an awareness of how to stay safe when playing near water. Supervise them closely and teach themabout water safety at www.teachpaws.ie
7. If you see somebody in trouble in the water: SHOUT – REACH – THROW
a. SHOUT to calm, encourage and orientate them;
b. REACH with anything that prevents you from entering the water (clothing/stick);
c. THROW a ringbuoy or any floating object to them.

*Ten drownings per month is based on the average number of drownings per annum over the ten years to 2021: 115.

Be Alert to Water Safety

As Sport Ireland and key stakeholders have come together to encourage everyone to be alert to water safety this summer, Waterford City and County Council is actively supporting the message to keep  safe in and near water.

Over the last few months there have been many successful campaigns and initiatives in regards to educating the public on water safety. While all stakeholders of this campaign have particular responsibilities and objectives, the overriding priority is the safety of all participants in outdoor physical activities. By pooling resources and collaborating on this campaign, the hope is to spread the message on water safety, and encourage people to be safe on the water and save lives.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Kelly said, “We can’t emphasise enough the need for vigilance in and around water.  Unfortunately, throughout the years Waterford hasn’t escaped the suffering and distress caused by drowning, however our aim, in association with Sport Ireland and key stakeholders is to prevent such tragic incidents happening in the future.”

“Our coastal areas are patrolled by skilled lifeguards who have made countless rescues in the last few months.  While it’s only natural that families would wish to escape to the seaside, after the uncertainty of the last year, we can’t stress enough the need to be vigilant, be aware and never take the power of nature for granted.”

We are privileged to live on an island with an abundance of water to enjoy and we are spoilt with the choice of activities or enjoyment that people of all ages and abilities can derive from the water. The outdoors has acted as an escape for many during the last year and there has been a significant increase in the number of people taking to the water and enjoying water based activities.

It is however critical that everyone respects the dangers that exist around water and that that people know how to be safe around, on and in the water.

Everyone is encouraged to familiarise themselves with and follow these key water safety messages:

  1. Check weather, water conditions and tides before going on or in the water
  2. Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back
  3. Do not go alone, even if whoever you bring doesn’t get on or in the water
  4. Have a method of calling for help. In emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard
  5. Use an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are doing activities on the water
  6. Ensure you are visible in the water and do not go in or on the water during reduced light
  7. Do not use inflatable toys in open water

It is important that parents and guardians educate children on these key water safety messages and that people are aware of the many hazards of swimming in undesignated areas.

If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast dial 112/999 or use VHF Ch 16 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Follow the links below to find out more about education and water safety advice for specific water based activities or learn about general water safety education from the key stakeholders.

This Statement is endorsed by:

Ends

For Further Information:

David Gash, Communications Manager, Sport Ireland
087-2277643
dgash@sportireland.ie

Waterford goes blue for World Drowning Prevention Day

Hot weather increases drowning risk.

UN World Drowning Prevention Day is Sunday 25 July

On Sunday 25th July 2021 our Council Buildings will be going BLUE to highlight drowning prevention worldwide.

The United Nations has declared Sunday 25 July World Drowning Prevention Day. It is part of the first ever UN Resolution on drowning prevention, an initiative of Ireland and Bangladesh that aims to address a global killer that takes an average of 115 lives in Ireland every year*.

The current hot spell has increased that drowning risk. Water Safety Ireland is asking the public to mark World Drowning Prevention Day by making water safety part of your conversation with loved ones before you even leave home and practise the following guidelines to stay safe.

  • Swim within your depth and stay within your depth. Many people are swimming for the first time this year and have not had swimming classes for more than 15 months.
  • Swim at a Lifeguarded waterway, listed at www.watersafety.ie/lifeguards. Otherwise swim in areas that are known locally as safe and where there are ringbuoys present for rescues.
  • Make sure that the water’s edge is shallow shelving so that you can safely enter and exit.
  • The air temperature is warm but open water is cooler – avoid extended stays in the water as your muscles will cool, making swimming more difficult.
  • Never use inflatable toys in open water as a gentle breeze can quickly bring a person away from shore.
  • Always supervise children closely and never leave them alone at garden paddling pools.
  • Wear a lifejacket when on or near water. See https://watersafety.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Personal-Flotation-Device-Leaflet.pdf
  • Alcohol is a factor in one third of drownings. Do not mix it with water activities.
  • If you see someone in difficulty, these simple steps may save a life:
  • Shout to the casualty and encourage them to shore. This may orientate them just enough.
  • Reach out with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.
  • Throw a ringbuoy or any floating object and call 112 for the coast guard.

Ireland averages ten drownings every month. As we approach World Drowning Prevention Day, please inform your family of this advice and get more at www.watersafety.ie. Anyone can drown, no one should. *In the decade to 2020, drowning was responsible for 1,151 deaths in Ireland and over 2.5 million preventable deaths worldwide. It is a significant, preventable public health issue.

As Water Safety Development Officer with Waterford City and Council and in association  with Water Safety Ireland, I would reiterate the importance of swimming at our lifeguarded beaches when at all possible and to swim within the Lifeguard Patrol Zone e.g. between the flags.

a)      Follow the advice of the lifeguards at all times.

b)      If red flags are being flown, always ask the lifeguards advice before entering the water.  Remember if you get into difficulty, you may also be putting their life in danger by them having to rescue you in dangerous conditions.

c)      NEVER USE INFLATABLE TOYS ON OPEN WATERWAYS.  WCCC have adopted a Bye-Law banning their use from our beaches.

d)      Be alert at all times and take note of any signage with regard to Rip Currents or any other dangers highlighted.

e)      NEVER leave children unsupervised at beaches or open waterways.

The following beaches in Waterford are currently lifeguarded from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on a daily basis until the 31/08/2021.  Ardmore, Bonmahon, Clonea, Dunmore East and Tramore.

To date since the beginning of June, our Lifeguards have successfully completed 23 rescues which reiterates the importance of swimming where lifeguards are on duty.

Public Participation: Identification of Bathing Waters

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, Waterford City & County Council are asking people who swim at beaches, 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.

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 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 wish to propose your favourite beach/river etc as a new bathing water site or comment on an existing site, please return this online form.

Closing date for submissions to Waterford City & County Council is 17th June 2021.

For further information please contact 0761 102020.

ENDS

Note to editors: Local authorities are required under the Bathing Waters Directive and the Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 (SI No 79 of 2008) to identify bathing waters on an annual basis. The Directive requires that water quality at all designated bathing waters meets stringent microbiological standards in order to protect the health of people who choose to bathe there.

REMINDER: Temporary Bathing Prohibition, Clonea Beach

Due to an emergency overflow from the sewerage system, there is a risk of contamination at Clonea beach and bathing is temporarily prohibited until the status of the bathing water quality can be verified.

This will take approximately 2 days.

Temporary Bathing Prohibition: Clonea Beach

Due to an emergency overflow from the sewerage system, there is a risk of contamination at Clonea beach and bathing is temporarily prohibited until the status of the bathing water quality can be verified.

This will take approximately 2 days.

Provision of Lifeguard services

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the recruitment of beach lifeguards was delayed this year. The beach lifeguard service will not be operational on Waterford’s Blue Flag beaches this June Bank Holiday weekend.

Swimmers should follow the advice of Water Safety Ireland and stay safe.

Weekend lifeguard cover will commence at the following locations on Saturday, 6th June, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.   Ardmore, Clonea, Dunmore East and Tramore.

A full lifeguard service will commence at all of these locations together with Bonmahon on Saturday, 27th June 2020 , 7 days per week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.