herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Bad news for bathers as sewage leak forces four beaches to close

Skerries beach was affected as
Skerries beach was affected as

Those planning to soak up some rays on the beach before the end of the bank holiday weekend may be forced to abandon their plans.

Four beaches in north Dublin have had to close this weekend because of huge levels of pollution.

Beaches in Rush, Balbriggan, Skerries and Loughshinny have been closed for 72 hours because of a deterioration in the quality of their water.

This is believed to be caused by "suspected sewage discharge from waste-water treatment".

A warning about the beach closures was issued to local councillors by Garry O'Brien of the Environment Department of Fingal County Council.

Health

"Pumps at the foul sewer pumping station at Hampton Cove Balbriggan failed on Saturday June 4 and the pump station has been on overflow for a period of time," he said.

"This action is being taken to ensure we are not compromising the human health of bathers."

Loughshinny Beach and Rush North Beach were closed after routine inspections, after a "significant amount" of matter including rags and sanitary towels were washed up on their shores.

Fingal Councillor Grainne Maguire told the Herald: "It's very serious because it stretches from Balbriggan all the way right to Rush. It's a huge issue."

Councillor JP Browne said it was "a real shame" and that Fingal County Council and Irish Water were working together to solve the problem.

"It's very disappointing and will have a huge affect on Fingal's tourism," he said.

The Skerries Water Festival and the Rush Harbour Festival, which take place later this summer, are expected to be affected.

Meanwhile, it's bad news for sun worshippers as searing hot temperatures are set to bring tropical-style thunderstorms to Ireland this week.

Met Eireann has issued an Orange Status weather warning that some of the downpours could bring flash floods to parts of the country. The alert is in place from noon today until midnight tonight.

"Warm humid air from continental Europe will bring heavy thunderstorms which could cause flooding and disruption in places," said forecaster Evelyn Cusack.

"There are still several orange and red status flood warnings in operation in France and Germany."

Today will see the worst of the downpours.

However, Wednesday is expected to be a hot and dry day with temperatures up to 24C and similar conditions are forecast for Thursday.

Ms Cusack warned that non-stop rain could spread countywide on Friday and continue through the weekend, while temperatures could drop 10C.

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