While all dlr Beaches maintain good and excellent status, the report also points out that over the last four years, nine of Dublin's fifteen bathing waters have shown deterioration in water quality. This includes Killiney Beach, which maintained excellent status until last year when the status was downgraded to 'good'. The reason for the deterioration in bathing water quality at beaches in the Dublin area is primarily due to increased discharges from the wastewater network, that is, overflows from treatment plants operating beyond capacity, overfows from pumping stations and from the piped network during heavy rainfall events. It is the reponsibility of Irish Water to deliver the infrastructure and network improvements required to tackle this issue. It is also the responsibility of the local authority to manage water quality in streams contributing to bathing areas and this is done through dlr's misconnection identification programme.
In the meantime, it is the responsibility of the local authorities to continue to monitor bathing water quality and inform the public of risks to bathers due to possible and detected contamination incidents. We do this by sampling regularly and informing bathers of detected breaches in bathing water quality.
We'd like to improve how we communicate risks to bathers in relation to bathing water quality, and we'd like to make as much environmental information available to bathers as possible. One of the ways we are doing this is through a project being run with Enterprise Ireland Small Business Innovation Research. We've put a challenge to the market to develop solutions for the collection and publication of bathing water quality information. You can find out more about this challenge here: http://smartdublin.ie/smartchallenges/bathingwaterquality/