19/09/2014

NI Bathing Waters Reach High Standards

The majority of Northern Ireland bathing waters met the higher guideline of 'excellent' standard for water quality last year, as set by the EU.

In 2014, 16 of 23 identified bathing waters met the high standards as laid out in the EU Bathing Water Directive. A further six met the mandatory 'good' standard. One area of bathing water at Carnlough failed to meet the mandatory standards and has been classified overall as 'poor'.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: "In spite of some really atrocious weather in August this year, which we know often affects our water quality, we still have some of the best bathing water quality in Europe.

"We have some good success stories behind the statistics. Newcastle bathing water in particular withstood all of the challenges that our weather has thrown at us during August. Newcastle bathing water quality is 'excellent' for the second year in a row since the new sewage works went live. This is a great example of the benefits that can be achieved by Government Departments working together.

"It’s disappointing though to see that Carnlough failed this year. Some of the poor sample results at Carnlough were obtained during August when we saw 44% more rainfall than normal, resulting in flooding and landslips. It emphasises the need to avoid complacency and keep working hard to keep our beaches at a high standard."

(IT/CD)

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