Identification of Bathing Waters

Local authorities must identify official bathing areas in their area every year so that they can be monitored for safety, water quality and their level of use.  To help with this process, Sligo County Council are asking people who swim at beaches and lakes to tell them if they think they should maintain existing designated bathing waters designations or give a new official bathing area designation to areas that are commonly used for swimming, but not identified at the moment.

Under European and Irish law, local authorities must identify bathing waters each year so that these areas can be monitored to ensure they meet stringent microbiological water quality standards. In some cases, the official bathing areas are also the areas where local authorities focus their resources providing lifeguards during the summer season. These laws also require that the local authority prepares detailed descriptions or profiles for each of the identified bathing water sites that describe not just the bathing area but also areas in the surface waters catchment area that could be a source of pollution. The profiles include an assessment of the risk of pollution and what action would be taken if pollution occurs.

Rosses PointEnniscrone, Mullaghmore, Streedagh and Dunmoran Beach have been identified for the 2023 bathing season.

If you are a regular swimmer and want to help your Council decide which bathing areas should be classified as such, it might be helpful to consider the following:

  • How your swimming area has been used up to now;
  • How many people use the site;
  • What facilities exist at the site and how accessible it is;
  • Any safety issues.

If you wish to propose your favourite beach etc. as a new bathing water site for 2023 or comment on an existing site please make submissions by email to .

Closing date for submissions to Sligo County Council is 28th September 2023. For further information please contact

The bathing water quality results and annual classification of bathing waters can be viewed at The latest available EPA report Bathing Water in Ireland Report can be viewed here: