County Council Branding


Bathing Waters are an important amenity, valuable for both their tourism and recreational potential.  It is important that they are afforded the appropriate protections in accordance with legislation, including the European Union's Bathing Waters Directive ( 2006/7/EC ). 

The Directive requires that water quality at all designated bathing waters meets stringent microbiological standards in order to protect the health of people who choose to bathe there. The Directive is concerned with the management of bathing water quality generally, with the exception of swimming pools, spa pools and waters used for therapeutic purposes.

Article 1.3 of the Directive states that it applies to: "Any element of surface water where the competent authority expects a large number of people to bathe and has not imposed a permanent bathing prohibition, or issued permanent advice against bathing".  This Directive came into force on 24 March 2006 and repealed the existing 1976 Directive with effect from 31 December 2014.

The Directive was transposed into Irish Law by the Bathing Water Quality Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 79 of 2008). The 2006 Directive establishes a new classification system for bathing water quality based on four classifications "poor", "sufficient", "good" and "excellent" and generally requires that a classification of ‘sufficient’ be achieved by 2015 for all bathing waters.  Annual water quality is calculated using monitoring results over a 4 year period.

In County Meath there is one designated bathing water, Laytown-Bettystown and it has been classified as achieving Good Water Quality in 2017.

Water quality at Laytown-Bettystown is monitored throughout the bathing water season (1st June – 15th September).  Results are posted on

Bathing Waters Legislation pdf, 171kb