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High levels of bacteria in bathing water at Bettystown

Story by Ann Casey

Thursday, 19th June, 2014 12:40pm

High levels of bacteria in bathing water at Bettystown

Beach-goers are advised not to swim at Bettystown beach because of increased levels of ecoli and enterococci bacteria in the water, which were identified yesterday.
Meath County Council erected a notice yesterday advising people not to swim, within an hour of receiving results of bathing water samples which identified increased bacteria levels.
People had been swimming at Bettystown yesterday as temperatures soared across the country.

A council spokesperson said that there was no prohibition on swimming but they were advising against it.
She said the cause of the bacteria is unknown.
“High levels of bacteria is usually short- lived and most bathers are unlikely to experience any illness,” she said.
Senator Thomas Byrne said many people in Meath were shocked to learn that a no swim advisory was in place after they had been to Bettystown beach.
“A stomach illness was reported to me last night by someone who used the beach yesterday during the good weather.  “While there is no definitive connection I am calling on Meath County Council to erect prominent signage advising people of the possible dangers until the advisory is over.”
He called for a full EPA investigation into the cause of thebacteria and asked why it takes almost two days for test results to come through.  
A council spokesperson said samples of the water are taken every week usually on a Monday.
The result of the samples taken last Monday identified increased levels of bacteria and the council received notice of the result at 2.30pm yesterday and within one hour, a notice advising people not to swim was erected at the beach and posted on the Council’s website.
“Further samples were taken yesterday evening and the results are expected on Friday. The EPA and the HSE were notified immediately,” she said. 

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