Consultation on N Ireland bathing water rules

The Department of the Environment has issued a consultation on proposed regulations to implement the revised EU bathing water Directive in Northern Ireland.1 The consultation runs until 9 May 2008.

The revised Directive requires improved bathing water quality, better signage for the public and encourages the provision of predictive bathing water quality information (ENDS Report 394, p 43 ).

A regulatory impact assessment considers the costs and benefits of minimal improvement to meet the new requirements. Three of the 23 designated waters in the province are likely to be classified as ‘poor’, but planned sewage works improvements are expected to improve quality before the new rules come into force in 2015. There will therefore be few additional costs.

Going beyond minimum requirements and attempting to ensure that all bathing waters achieved ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ status would require additional improvement works at just two sites and cost an estimated £4.55 million.

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