Following a campaign by Green Party Councillors and sea-swimming groups, the Government has committed to extending the testing and disinfection of the water in Dublin Bay beyond traditional swimming months.
Ministers Malcolm Noonan and Darragh O’Brien have written to Green Party Cllr Donna Cooney to confirm that Irish Water have recently put their Ultra Violet (UV) disinfection system into operation at the Ringsend Waste Water Treatment Plant and intends to continue to operate it beyond the traditional bathing water season. This will allow them to assess the impact of operating the UV system all year round. Irish Water has also committed to conducting additional water monitoring across the rest of 2021.
Cllr Cooney welcomed the commitment, which comes after many meetings with Irish Water, Dublin City Council officials, EPA, the EU commission, and emergency motions passed by Dublin City Council;
“I’m delighted at this progress for Dublin Bay. With the huge increase in all-year sea swimming, this is essential for public health and happiness as there are so many benefits for physical health and well-being from sea swimming. We can now be more confident that bathing water quality will improve and Dubliners and visitors alike, can enjoy our wonderful bay all year around.
“It’s also good news for the protection of biodiversity and marine life in the Dublin Bay biosphere as the increase in nutrients from untreated sewage damages the marine ecosystem.”
The Ministers have also confirmed that the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has recently signed a capital commitment request from Irish Water for the upgrade of the Ringsend Plant.
Green Party Cllr Claire Byrne welcomed the news;
“The extension of testing and disinfection measures in Dublin Bay is a step in the right direction and will hopefully lead to year round monitoring. Ultimately, the upgrade of the Ringsend Waste Water Treatment Plant will make a substantial difference to the water quality in Dublin Bay and the capital commitment from the Department is significant. There’s a lot of talk across the political spectrum about Dublin Bay and proposed solutions but with the Green Party in Government we’re actually taking action. If I am elected next month as TD for Dublin Bay South, it will further strengthen the Green influence in Government and improvements to water quality will remain a key priority.
“I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing work of the Bathing Water Expert Group and welcome the news that the Dublin Bay Task Force on Bathing Water will be extended.”
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