The 2022 Bathing Water Compliance report shows the highest ever number of Northern Ireland's bathing waters have met the best possible standard of 'Excellent'
25 of 26 bathing waters around our coast have met strict standards for quality, with 21 of these classified as 'Excellent', a prerequisite for the coveted Blue Flag Award. A further three have been classified as 'Good' with one 'Sufficient'. Unfortunately, one site at Ballyholme marginally failed to meet the minimum standards.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs said 'This is great news for Northern Ireland's beaches. The improvement in the number of beaches reaching the 'Excellent' standard is a result of effective partnership working with our stakeholders and partner agencies. Our beaches contribute to the health and well-being of locals and visitors alike and this confirmation will reassure the many people who visit our fantastic outdoor spaces safely and hopefully encourage more to do so.
"The 'Poor' classification at Ballyholme is, however, very disappointing. The higher bacterial counts happened after wet weather events when our waters experienced pressures from both waste water overflows and from farm runoff. We are determined to see improvement here and we will be redoubling our efforts and continuing to work with both NI Water and the agriculture sector to investigate the sources and to reduce water pollution."
The 2022 results are:
Murlough (Co Down)
Portballintrae Salmon Rock
Portrush Curran (East Strand)
Portrush Mill (West Strand)