Uncover the 5 Reasons Seawater Testing is Essential in Ireland

Uncover the 5 Reasons Seawater Testing is Essential in Ireland

Do you know the 5 reasons why seawater testing is vital in Ireland?

  1. Ensure public safety: Public health risks are one of the main consequences of completing regular seawater testing. This can lead to increased cases of gastrointestinal, respiratory, or skin infections among the public.
  2. Monitoring the ocean’s health is important for maintaining the ecosystems and keeping marine life safe. In Ireland we pride ourselves in our beautiful shores and our flourishing fishing industry with the total value of Irish seafood economy in 2020 estimated to be just under €1.1billion.
  3. Compliance with the EU regulations on seawater quality. Seawater testing is used to assess salinity which is the measure of salt content, pH level which assess the acidity or alkalinity of the seawater, and the nutrient levels.
  4. Identifying sources of pollution. Without testing, pollution can go unnoticed and have adverse effects on marine ecosystems and the overall environment. Increased rainfall, which is common in Ireland, can cause increased run off into the ocean, and additionally the impact of human activities which cause pollution can be assessed.
  5. Assessing climate change by analysing seawater levels and temperature. This information allows professionals to make informed decisions on the impact of climate change of the local seawaters.


What is seawater testing?

Seawater testing is a crucial process that helps monitor the quality and safety of the water along Ireland’s coast.

The water sample is collected and sent to our laboratory where it is tested using spectrophotometry for quality checks. Chromatography is used for pollutant checks such as pesticides and hydrocarbons, and microbiological tests to indicate the presence of human sewage.

Following these extensive tests, Southern Scientific provides a comprehensive report on the results of the seawater samples to our customers.


Who performs this seawater testing?

Government agencies, researchers and public health officials, a wide range of professionals rely on accurate and timely sea water testing results. Agencies such as the EPA, HSE and local authorities work to monitor Irish seawater safety to keep the public safe. Industry that seeks to have a license for the discharge of treated wastewater into the sea must have continuous sampling and testing carried out. EU Regulation Compliance, IPPC License discharge, license application and compliance are the main reasons why we are asked to monitor sea water.

The natural, clean water around its 7,500km of coastline of Ireland was tested with 79% of seawater bathing sites having ‘Excellent’ water quality while 97% meet the minimum standard.

The EPA specifically mentions two beaches, Portrane, the Brook Beach in Dublin, and Trá na bhForbacha, Na Forbacha in Galway, whose quality has increased in recent years from Poor to Excellent.


But, did you know that 1.5% of Europe’s bathing water is considered poor quality as assessed by the EEA 2022.


How can you ensure the seawater in your area is safe?

Ensuring the safety of seawater in your area involves monitoring water quality and being aware of any potential incidents that may affect bathing waters.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure the seawater is safe:

  1. Check water quality information: Regularly visit the official website like www.beaches.ie, where water quality information and any incidents affecting bathing waters are displayed. This information may include details about pollution, algae blooms, or other factors that could impact water safety.
  2. Follow official advisories: Pay attention to any advisories or warnings issued by local authorities regarding water quality and potential hazards. If there are any health-related concerns, these advisories will help you make informed decisions about using the seawater for recreational purposes.
  3. Observe water conditions: While at the beach, use your senses to assess the water conditions. Look for signs of pollution, such as unusual colour, foul odour, or excessive floating debris. Avoid swimming in areas that appear contaminated or unsafe.
  4. Respect posted signs: If there are any signs or flags posted at the beach indicating water quality issues or hazards, adhere to them strictly. These signs are there to protect beachgoers and ensure their safety.
  5. Report any concerns: If you notice any unusual water conditions or suspect pollution, promptly report your observations to the local authorities or beach management team. They can investigate and take appropriate actions to address the issue.

Irish Seawater testing

Contact Southern Scientific Today!

Southern Scientific Services prioritises seawater testing to keep Ireland’s coastline safe. Contact Southern Scientific Services today at +353 66 97 63588 for more information on seawater testing solutions.





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