THOSE hardy souls hoping to venture for a Christmas dip in Kilkee are being warned to not to swim over the coming days, with a bathing notice issued after a discharge of storm water on the beach.
Irish Water issued a Do Not Swim notice for Kilkee Beach this Wednesday afternoon after advice from the HSE and consultation with Clare County Council.
It comes after an “emergency discharge of storm water containing elements of wastewater from the Kilkee pumping station into the sea via Kilkee beach,” the agency said.
The warning advising members of the public “not to swim or engage in other recreational activities in the water at this time”.
The emergency discharge occurred due to a failure in an operational safety device at the Kilkee Pumping Station, combined with heavy rainfall in the area over recent days.
As a consequence, the pumping station was unable to pump the larger than usual volume of combined storm and foul wastewater which is entering the system and it became necessary to release the excess storm water via the Victoria Stream into an overflow culvert which discharges into the sea on the west side of Kilkee beach.
Irish Water and the council are working as a matter of priority to resolve the issue and minimise the impact on Kilkee beach. In the longer term a number of improvements are being planned to address the deficiencies at the pumping station.
“Irish Water apologises for any inconvenience that this incident may cause to the users of Kilkee beach and will continue to monitor the situation vigilantly and report any overflows to the relevant authorities,” said a spokesperson.
The beach was closed briefly during the summer after routine tests on water samples at the beach highlighted bacterial contamination – also an issue believed to be connected with the Victoria Stream.