SWIMMERS and water sports enthusiasts have been urged to be cautious of water quality off Irish beaches because of the torrential rainfall.
Local authorities are now conducting daily water sampling off popular Irish strands amid concerns about water quality following the impact of a large volume of rainfall run-off from land.
Sampling is being conducted in Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Galway and other counties as councils are concerned about the impact of the run-off of torrential rainfall.
In Kerry, warning notices have been erected at some of the country’s most popular strands pending the results of water quality tests.
These include Ballybunion North, Ballybunion South, Fenit, Sandy Bay (Maharees), Ventry, Kells, White Strand (Caherciveen), Ballinskelligs and Inny Strand (Waterville).
Similar warning notices about potential water quality issues have also been erected at beaches in other counties.
Councils stressed that, as is routine at a time of heavy rainfall, water quality in bathing areas is now being carefully monitored.
This is because heavy rainfall can wash nitrates, effluents and waste material from farmland into the sea.
Careful monitoring of a number of Cork beaches is also underway given that the south west bore the brunt of the heavy rainfall over the past week.
Swimmers and water sports enthusiasts are still able to use the water – but are advised to be conscious of a potential impact on water quality from the recent heavy rainfall.
Such was the volume of rainfall that a Status Yellow thunderstorm alert was in place for Cork and Kerry and a number of other counties for several days last week.
Results from random sampling will be available by mid week for Irish councils.
Councils stressed that the water quality results will determine what further action, if any, will result.
If water quality is significantly impacted, no-swim notices can be advised.
By Ralph Reigel