Bathing Water Quality

Bathing Water Quality

Bathing water quality regulations and how Meath's bathing waters perform.

The Bathing Waters Directive (2006/7/EC) is concerned with the management of bathing water quality generally, with the exception of swimming pools, spa pools and waters used for therapeutic purposes.

Article 1.3 of the Directive states that it applies to: "Any element of surface water where the competent authority expects a large number of people to bathe and has not imposed a permanent bathing prohibition, or issued permanent advice against bathing". This Directive came into force on 24 March 2006 and will repeal the existing 1976 Directive with effect from 31 December 2014.


The Directive was transposed into Irish Law by the Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 79 of 2008). The 2006 Directive establishes a new classification system for bathing water quality based on four classifications "poor", "sufficient", "good" and "excellent" and generally requires that a classification of ‘sufficient’ be achieved by 2015 for all bathing waters. Transitional measures are in place until the new Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 (SI No. 79 of 2008), are fully implemented.

The quality of bathing water in Ireland for 2014 (EPA Bathing Water Quality Report 2014), was generally of a high standard with 94.1 per cent of bathing waters (128 of 136 identified bathing waters) complying with the EU mandatory values and achieving at least ‘sufficient’ water quality status.

 In County Meath there is one designated bathing water, Laytown-Bettystown and it was been classed at good status. Water quality at Laytown-Bettystown will be monitored throughout the bathing water season (1st June – 15th September). Results will be posted on https://www.beaches.ie/.

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