Clare County Council, in consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), has announced that due to the abnormal weather conditions and the possibility of pollution, swimming is prohibited at Lahinch, Kilkee and Spanish Point beaches.
Public bathing notices and red flags indicating that swimming is prohibited have been placed on all of the affected beaches. The lifeguard presence at Kilkee, Spanish Point and Lahinch remains unchanged. Meanwhile, the Blue Flag at Lahinch and Kilkee beaches have been temporarily removed until results return within Blue Flag water quality limits.
The results of routine tests on water samples at the three beaches have shown up traces of ecoli. Staff from the Environment section of Clare County Council and the HSE conducted further tests today (Friday), the results of which will be known on Sunday. Resumption of swimming will be recommended when results return within bathing water quality limits.
“The water runoff from the excessive and sustained rainfall of the past two months has had a negative impact on bathing water quality at Kilkee, Spanish Point and Lahinch by elevating bacterial levels,” explained Anne Haugh, Director of Services, Clare County Council.
Ms. Haugh added: “Clare County Council has consulted with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), An Taisce and the HSE in relation to the water sample results, which show that each of the three bathing areas are presently within the Mandatory limits as stated in the Bathing water regulations. Levels of contamination in water samples in Lahinch were lower than those detected in Kilkee and Spanish Point. However, a decision has been taken, based on the advice of the HSE, to prohibit swimming at the three bathing areas as a precautionary measure. Public drinking water supplies are not affected.”
“We would appeal to members of the public visiting the three locations to abide by the public notices. Further updates will be issued through the media and via the Council website, www.clarecoco.ie,” she concluded.