Belfast Telegraph

New app gives sea swimmers water quality information at their fingertips

It comes as increasing numbers are taking to the seas across Ireland.

(EU Swim Project/PA)
(EU Swim Project/PA)

A new smartphone app which allows sea swimmers to check bathing water quality has been praised as a “fantastic asset”.

The EU Swim app includes information on nine beaches across Ireland from Co Sligo to Co Down.

It comes during an increase in popularity in sea swimming across the island.

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Swimmers in Bangor (Liam McBurney/PA)

The pilot initiative combines the expertise of University College Dublin, Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

It is funded under the EU’s Interreg VA Programme, Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in Ireland.

Dr Rosemarie Gannon, EU Swim Project manager, based at University College Dublin, said it is the first app of its kind.

“The EU Swim app is unique because it is the first time that there is an app that provides bathing water quality information at selected beaches in the North and South of Ireland,” she said.

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Former Irish Olympic swimmer Andrew Bree (left) with Scott Riley of the Team Dash and Splash swim group at Skippingstone beach in Bangor (Liam McBurney)

“The app helps to make a connection between the beaches and show their similarities, thereby strengthening cross border links.

“The app is a simple and convenient way to find out if the water is clean at selected beaches.

“It gives reassurance to beach goers and can help them to enjoy their time at the beach and in the water even more.”

Daily sea swimmer Marie-Therese Davis-Hanson from Bangor, Co Down, praised the app as a “fantastic asset”.

“I’ve used the new app to reassure other open water swimmers and potential open water swimmers about water cleanliness, specifically in Ballyholme,” she said.

“The app will prove to be invaluable to my swim buddies and I think it’s a fantastic asset to our open water swimming community network, which is growing daily.

“Lots of new sea swim groups are learning about the sea, tides, currents, beach profiles, water quality and safety etc. from myself and the app.”

The app can be downloaded for free, from the Apple and Google Play stores, by searching EU Swim Project.

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