Public Participation: Identification of Bathing Waters

Anyone for a swim?

Tens of thousands of people have been enjoying a dip at Ireland’s pristine lakes, rivers and beaches during the recent sunny weather. What most swimmers don’t know is that City and County Councils must designate 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 them with this process, Cavan County Council are now asking people who swim at lakes and rivers to tell them if they think they should give a new official bathing area designation to areas that are commonly used for swimming but not designated at the moment. 

Under European and Irish law, City and county councils 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 Council’s focus their resources providing lifeguards during the summer season. These laws also require that the Council prepares detailed descriptions or profiles for each of the designated 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 the risk of pollution and what action would be taken in pollution happens. 

If you are a regular swimmer and want to help your Council decide which bathing areas should be designated for 2017, 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/river etc as a new bathing water site or for further information please contact:


The Environment Section

Cavan County Council

17 Farnham Street

Cavan Town




Closing date for submissions to Cavan County Council is 29th July 2016.