Swimmers and bathers warned of E.coli threat in Dublin coastal town

Rush Harbour
Rush Harbour

Residents in a coastal town have been told it will be at least three years before Irish Water can stop raw sewage being pumped in to the sea.

Fingal County Council has issued warnings to swimmers in Rush after dangerously high levels of bacteria and E.coli were recorded.

A notice states E.coli levels on the South Beach spiked from 10 per 100ml in May to 624 per 100ml in June.

Untreated sewage from approximately 2,700 homes flows in to the sea nearby.

Lifeguards on the beach stopped several people entering the water this week, with the council confirming its advisory notice "will remain in place for the entire bathing season". Pregnant women or anyone with an open wound have also been warned against swimming.

Do not swim” notices were placed at the popular Rush Harbour beach, which leads to the scenic North Beach. Officials maintain neither are designated bathing areas and that the North Beach is not routinely monitored.

Irish Water Safety has been forced to move its course for children from the harbour beach to nearby Loughshinny. Fingal County Council said Irish Water will carry out works in the area to connect the remaining portion of Rush with a waste water treatment plant by "late 2018."

"Higher levels of bacteria are usually short-lived and most bathers are unlikely to experience any illness," it said.

Local TD, Children's Minister Dr James Reilly, said works to connect Rush to a treatment plant "need to get going".

Paul Healy

Read: Seven Irish bathing spots fail to meet EU minimum water standards.