Water quality at local beaches ‘excellent’

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Inishowen continues to boast among the cleanest beaches in Ireland, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest bathing water report: good news for those daydreaming of the seaside over the past few days of brilliant May sunshine.

Popular sandy getaways in Fanad, Rosguill, Gweedore and the Rosses, right on down around South West Donegal, were also found to be world class by the EPA’s Bathing Water Quality in Ireland report for 2017.

Local favourites such as Culdaff, Stroove and Portsalon were all deemed to have exhibited a crystalline purity when sampled last year.

There were some caveats, however. Lisfannon just missed out on an ‘excellent’ grade because levels of the Enterococci bug were slightly too high.

Its popular waters were nonetheless declared good by the EPA’s analysts.

Directly across Lough Swilly, Rathmullan, which used to secure an ‘excellent’ mark nearly every year has also had that record sullied somewhat recently.

Though the village’s bathing water quality is still good the EPA have found it’s been more variable since 2016 when compared to earlier years particularly for E. coli.

Perhaps most concerningly the ‘front shore’ at Buncrana was deemed ‘vulnerable’ to pollution and received a ‘sufficient’ grade only.

Situated directly on the town’s western shore Lady’s Bay “appears to exhibit episodic low level pollution possibly arising from storm overflow discharges”, the EPA report has warned.

The agency advised that the Donegal samples were taken before last August’s catastophic floods.

“This severe weather mostly affected the North West with its impacts including severe flooding. Samples from Donegal were thankfully taken prior to its arrival. Malin Head recorded its wettest rainfall event in 62 years on the August 23 with 77.2 mm of rainfall,” the report stated.