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Ballyalla Lake needs more than ‘feeble excuses’

RESOURCES, not “feeble excuses” are needed to bring the quality of water in Ballyalla Lake up to standard insists Green Party Councillor Brian Meaney.

This week the Environmental Protection Agency in their overview of the quality of bathing water in Ireland deemed Ballyalla Lake to have poor water quality. The lake was one of four bathing areas in the country to be classified by the EPA as failing to comply with the minimum mandatory standards.
Following examination by the EPA, Ballyalla Lake failed to comply with the EU’s mandatory and guideline standards, as well as failing to comply with faecal streptococci guide values.
Speaking following the announcement of the report, Councillor Brian Meaney said, “Resources have to be provided to ensure that the water quality is brought up to bathing water standard. It was bathing water 20 years ago and I understand standards have changed. It is a very difficult lake as it is a shallow lake in the lower Fergus with all the catchment from north county Clare but the obligation is to ensure that what we have is retained.
“Ballyalla was a known bathing area in the past. we used to go there ourselves as children and I would like my children to be able to go there in the future. It’s an amenity to the town, it has to be maintained and the money has to be provided and anything else is just feeble excuses.”
While Ballyalla Lake failed to meet the minimum standards, ten of the county’s bathing areas were deemed to have good water standards, complying with the mandatory standards and the stricter EU guidelines. These were: Ballycuggeran, Bishopsquarter, Cappagh Pier Kilrush, Fanore, Kilkee, Lahinch, Mountshannon, Lough Derg, Spanish Point, White Strand, Doonbeg and White Strand, Miltown Malbay.
Overall, the report findings show that the quality of Ireland’s bathing waters remains high, with 97% of designated bathing areas meeting the EU mandatory standards, and classed as being of “sufficient” water quality status. In addition, 90% of bathing waters meet higher guideline standards and are classified as “good”, an 8% increase compared to the previous  season.
Commenting on the report, Dr Mary Kelly, EPA director general, said, “There has been an overall improvement in bathing water quality in Ireland in the 2010 season. While some of this is attributable to the dry summer of 2010, the EPA is confident that measures taken to implement the Water Framework Directive – including licensing of Urban Waste Water Treatment Plants by the EPA – are playing their part in making those improvements.
“However, stricter standards for bathing water will be introduced under legislation, which means that greater effort will be needed to ensure that our bathing waters are clean, and fit for the people of Ireland to swim in.”


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