EPA report finds three Galway beaches below standard

Ballyloughane beach.

A new report on the quality of bathing water across Ireland has identified three beaches in Galway which fail to meet minimum standards.
The findings from the Environment Protection Agency outline serious issues with beaches at Clifden and Furbo as well as Ballyloughane in the city.
In its 2016 ‘Report on Bathing Water Quality’, the EPA says just six locations nationwide are below minimum standards – and three of these are in Galway.
It ranks waters at Clifden and Tra na bhForbacha as well as Ballyloughane in the city as being of ‘unacceptable’ and ‘poor’ quality.
The agency says the pollution at Ballyloughane is likely due to urban sewage discharges and sewer misconnections.
Clifden failed to make the grade due to likely sewage and septic tank discharges, while Tra na bhForbacha is ranked as poor due to river inputs and septic tanks.
Meanwhile, while Grattan Road Beach is ranked as ‘good’ in the 2016 report, the EPA warns that the area remains at risk from wastewater discharges.
Similarly, Tra na mBan in Spiddal is listed as ‘sufficient’ but it is noted that there are continued periodic impacts from surface waters and wastewater discharge.
All 12 other beaches across the county are rated by the Environmental Protection Agency as either good or excellent.