LOCALISED heavy rainfall during the recent status yellow warning is considered to be the likely cause of high bacteria levels at several West Cork beaches.
But the good news is that the swimming ban that was put in place on Friday, August 9th at two West Cork beaches – namely the Warren in Rosscarbery and Coolmain in Kilbrittain – have been lifted.
This news comes ahead of predicted warmer temperatures and prolonged sunshine for the upcoming weekend.
However, the swimming ban that was put in place in respect of Whiddy Island on August 8th last remains in force as Cork County Council investigates the case of the raised bacteria levels at the eastern side of the island, near the ferry quay.
Meanwhile, four other warning notices – which are just advisory notices and not an outright ban – that were issued by Cork County Council, on the advice of the Health Service Executive, at Fountainstown, Garryvoe, Cadogan’s Strand and Tragumna, have also been lifted.
The warning and prohibition notices were lifted after fresh water samples showed that the bathing waters in each of these areas have returned to ‘excellent’ status.
Wastewater spills, or overflows from treatment works, have led to a bathing ban in other parts of the country, such as Dollymount, Sandymount and Seapoint in Dublin, but in West Cork it has been suggested that a run-off of agricultural effluent from the soil might have be a contributing factor to the high bacteria readings.
West Cork was perhaps worst affected by the deluge that fell during the yellow rain warning on Thursday, August 8th – it certainly had one of the most dramatic displays of thunder and lightning ever seen in the region.