Bathing water quality
Northern Ireland’s bathing season begins on 1 June and ends on 15 September each year. The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is responsible for monitoring and making sure that coastal waters are of high enough quality to bathe in.
Water quality monitoring
Bathing water at 26 sites is monitored weekly from May to September and classified into one of four categories:
- temporary advice issued against bathing
2022 bathing water quality posters
A series of results from the end of July through to early August 2022 have been recalled due to a quality control failure. They are not shown here as these results cannot be used in the overall classification.
Most recent results published in the 2022 season for bathing waters:
- Antrim Coast bathing water quality
- North Coast bathing water quality
- North Down bathing water quality
- South Down bathing water quality
2022 bathing water compliance
|Bathing water||Compliance level|
|Murlough (Co Down)||Excellent|
|Portballintrae Salmon Rock||Excellent|
|Portrush Curran (East Strand)||Excellent|
|Portrush Mill (West Strand)||Excellent|
Blue Flag beaches
Beaches with an excellent water quality compliance result may be eligible for the Blue Flag award. The award also looks at beach management and facilities such as:
- litter collection
- car parking
- disability access
- life-saving equipment
The award applies during the bathing season. In Northern Ireland the scheme is run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, along with the Green Coast and Seaside Award schemes.
In Northern Ireland, nine Blue Flag beaches, nine Blue Flag Marinas and nine Seaside Award beaches were recognised.