Co Down beach found to have ‘poor’ water quality

Ballyholme beach in August 2015
Ballyholme beach in August 2015

New figures show that Northern Ireland enjoys some of the best bathing water quality in Europe, according to DUP Environment Minister Michelle McIlveen.

In all, 22 of the 23 identified bathing waters met the European standards for bathing water quality.

Of these, 11 were classed as “excellent” with a further nine classed as “good”.

However, the popular beach at Portrush (Curran) East only gained a “sufficient” designation, as did the beach at Newcastle.

Ballyholme was the only beach found to have “poor” water quality.

Of the 20 times Ballyholme was tested, 17 were rated excellent.

But on three occasions, each as a result of heavy rainfall, a “poor” reading was recorded.

The minister said: “Our water environment is improving, and I applaud the efforts which have taken us thus far, but we cannot be complacent.

“Ballyholme serves as a reminder that no matter how hard we work to make improvements, there is no room for complacency.

“Overall however, our beaches remain some of the best in Europe for water quality and I am committed to protecting and enhancing them wherever possible.”