At an awards ceremony held at Crosshaven Yacht Club on May 22nd, County Waterford’s beaches were awarded with 4 Blue Flag awards and 7 Green Coast awards for 2017.
These awards are only made to bathing areas with excellent water quality and beach management. Clonea Beach, Dunmore East Main Strand, Dunmore Councillor’s Strand and Tramore were confirmed Blue Flag status and Green Coast awards were achieved for beaches at Guillamene, Newtown Cove, Ballyquin, Curragh, Goat Island, Annestown and Kilfarassy.
Classifications were based on tests carried out on these beaches over the period 2012 – 2016, with a classification of ‘excellent’ being achieved.
Bonmahon and Ardmore are also designated bathing areas and are candidate Blue Flag Beaches with Bonmahon being classified as sufficient and Ardmore as change. A new wastewater treatment system was commissioned for Ardmore Village in 2015 which should ensure excellent bathing water quality for the coming season and hopefully the Blue Flag will be awarded soon!
County Waterford is renowned for its 100 km long stunning coastline. For those wishing to walk, jog, swim, explore rock-pools, surf, scuba dive, fish, kite surf, observe wildlife or just relax, there is a place for you! As part of its efforts to enhance this natural tourism attraction and provide amenities to the public and ensure good water quality, Waterford City & County Council is committed to ongoing management and stringent monitoring of the 30 bathing water areas dotted along the coast.
The major bathing areas are tested at least every 2 weeks, the medium every 4 weeks and the small at least once during the season, which runs from June 1st to September 15th. These results will be published on the EPA and Council websites and local notice board adjacent to the beach.
The Council’s aim is to help all visitors to the beaches and coastal areas enjoy themselves safely amid the stunning natural beauty of the Waterford coastline. Waterford City & County Council is also considering the development of coastal Blueways along the Waterford coast. Blueways are coastal routes, where water based activities such as snorkelling and kayaking can be enjoyed.
Members of the public and interest groups are encouraged to provide suggestions on beach and coastal management in the county. Anyone interested should send their suggestions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information on Waterford bathing waters can be found on the Council’s website www.waterfordcouncil.ie, on the EPA bathing water website http://splash.epa.ie and on local beach notice-boards.
Let’s get out there and enjoy our beautiful coast!