Precautionary water quality notices will remain in place for 15 beaches across the county until at least September 3rd following recent storms and continuing heavy rainfall.
West Cork beaches affected include Oysterhaven, Red Strand, Ballyrisode, Cadogans Strand in Schull, Rocky Bay, Barleycove, Fountainstown, Tragumna The Warren, Garrettstown and Coolmain.
Heavy rainfall events such as those experienced over the past week can cause pollutants to be washed from surrounding catchments into the river network and onward to the sea. This has the obvious potential to impact on bathing water quality and for that reason, Cork County Council is obliged to post precautionary notices at all beaches that might be affected.
High levels of bacteria have been detected at Oysterhaven and Redbarn and following discussions with the HSE, 'Do Not Swim Prohibition Notices' have been placed on both beaches.
The public are directed to www.beaches.ie for the most up to date information on all beaches in the county and nationally.
The recent storms have also had physical impacts on some beaches. The access pontoon at Barleycove was damaged by Storm Ellen and has had to be removed for repair. Access to the beach will be restricted for the immediate future.
The Warren, Roscarbery suffered a landslide near the cliff walk. The walkway is now closed and assessment of the damage is ongoing.
At Coolmain Beach, the Kilbrittain river channel has changed direction significantly, creating a dangerous fast flowing channel running parallel to the bathing area.
'On the advice of water safety staff, due to dangerous currents, the beach is closed for all aquatic activities until further notice. Members of the public are advised to be extremely cautious and stay away from the area,' said a Council spokesperson.
'Although the stormy weather can present safety issues at some locations, Cork County Council Environment staff continue to take water samples at beaches across the county and will be reviewing results for individual beaches over the coming days. Updates will be advised via the Council’s website and social media and can also be found at www.beaches.ie. '
Cork County Council would like to stress to the public that when visiting beaches and coastal areas you should always exercise caution and familiarise yourself with all safety signage and ring buoy locations. Swim only at lifeguarded beaches and under no circumstances take inflatables into the open water. Supervise children at all times and in the event of an emergency dial 999/112.