Belfast Telegraph

Ards waters sparkle again

Two Ards beaches have once again exceeded European water quality standards.

Beaches at Ballywalter and Millisle were among 24 across Northern Ireland to be assessed under a monitoring programme to ensure coastal waters are of a high enough quality for people to bathe in. Water is sampled at each location 20 times between June and mid-September, resulting in Ballywalter receiving an ‘excellent’ rating and Millisle being rated as ‘good’.

“In what was a particularly wet summer which can have a detrimental effect on water quality, this is very good news for Ards — for our residents who can enjoy a swim locally, for the visitors who flock to this area each summer and for our wider tourism industry which benefits from quality results like this,” said Mayor of Ards, Councillor David Smyth.

In Northern Ireland 24 sites are formally identified under the 1976 EC Bathing Waters Directive and the monitoring programme has been in place since 1988. The waters are sampled on 20 occasions during the summer months by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) for bacterial contamination and other indicators of pollution.

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