City beach is set to get clean bill of healthAugust 24, 2012 - 7:15am
BY ENDA CUNNINGHAM
Grattan Beach could be given a clean bill of health this weekend after further testing has shown a significant decrease in the levels of the potentially deadly E. coli bacteria in the bathing water.
The beach was closed to swimmers this week after levels of the bacteria breached EU safety guidelines – preliminary results of further samples released yesterday afternoon show E. coli levels are “well below” guidelines.
More samples were taken yesterday and results are due around lunchtime today – if a second consecutive ‘pass’ is recorded, the beach can be re-opened.
Frances Mullarkey, Acting Director of Services for the Environment told the Galway City Tribune: “The preliminary results are positive, but have yet to be confirmed. They are encouraging because they are well below EU permitted values, so we are hopeful the next samples will also be clear.”
Results of the routine water samples taken on Tuesday were found to be in excess of European Union Guide and Mandatory Values – strict standards introduced in 2006 which gauge levels of Intestinal enterococci (I.E.) and E. coli bacteria.
As a result, the HSE instructed the City Council to close the beach to bathers on Wednesday afternoon. Signage was erected on the beach advising the public that the beach is closed to swimmers.
“The weather over the last few weeks is a major contributory factor – there have been huge levels of rainfall,” said Ms Mullarkey.
Escherichia coli can cause stomach cramps and diarrhoea, but is particularly dangerous for the young and elderly – it can cause kidney failure, and if not quickly identified, symptoms can worsen.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.