herald

Thursday 22 August 2019

Storm before the calm as temperatures set to soar

A cyclist braves the rain on Northumberland Road in Dublin city centre
A cyclist braves the rain on Northumberland Road in Dublin city centre
Zoe Humphreys (13) at Donabate beach yesterday

Swimming at some of Dublin's most popular beaches has been banned - just as the weather begins to look more like summer.

With temperatures set to soar to 27C later this week, bathing prohibition notices have been placed at Dollymount Strand, Seapoint, Sandycove and Forty Foot.

Yesterday's thunder storms have been blamed for an overflow from Ringsend wastewater treatment plant.

Dublin City council put a bathing prohibition notice at Dollymount as a result.

Water samples from all the beaches were taken yesterday, with the results not due before Thursday. Until then, swimming is banned.

Irish Water, which operates the Ringsend plant, said: "Due to adverse weather conditions during a yellow weather event, which saw heavy rainfall in the Dublin area, there was a storm water overflow from Ringsend waste-water treatment plant.

Bacteria

"The storm water overflow operated in compliance with plant design and regulations and was fully screened and settled.

"Irish Water regrets the impact this may have on beach users."

Swimmers hoping to cool off this week are running out of options.

Bathing has already been banned at Sandymount and Merrion beaches for the whole summer due to water quality issues.

Visitors to Portmarnock's Velvet Strand have been warned about the possibility of an increase in bacteria in the water in the coming days due to the heavy rainfall.

Fingal County Council said that to reduce the risk of illness, people should avoid swallowing or splashing water and to wash their hands before handling food.

It also said pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system or who have an open wound should not swim.

It said high levels of bacteria are usually "short-lived" and "most bathers are unlikely to experience any illness".

The restrictions are due to last a few days.

Met Eireann said temperatures will peak at 23C today and could rise to 27C by Thursday.

There will be some thundery showers again today, but it will become drier with only the odd shower in the coming days.

The hot weather cannot come soon enough for one of the country's best-known ice-cream sellers, Teddy's, in Dun Laoghaire.

"Business does depend on sunshine, but people do still come out to get an ice-cream to make them smile regardless," manager Yasmin Khan told the Herald.

"We have a lot of mobile units. One of them is at the end of Dun Laoghaire pier, so you're wasting your time on bad days as no one is going to walk out in torrential rain.

"I've been doing this for two decades and I've seen the change in the summers.

"When I was selling ice-cream all those years ago, we used to jump in the sea during breaks, as it was so warm.

"We're running on break-even at the moment. We have 12 weeks to turn a profit - we have another eight weeks left."

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