A CORK TD has called on Irish Water to upgrade the wastewater infrastructure near Warren Beach in Rosscarbery.
It comes as earlier this month the beach was red flagged for swimming due to a potential public health risk with water quality.
Cork County Council Beachguards posted a message on Facebook to explain the source of the issues.
“Bathing is prohibited due to observation of suspected sewage plume in the bathing waters,” the post said. They said the likely cause was the “possible impact from wastewater infrastructure failure”.
The ‘Do Not Swim’ notice has since been lifted, however, Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan said wastewater infrastructure in the area needs to be improved.
“What’s very clear from talking to locals is that while the area is open for business, the existing wastewater treatment infrastructure is not fit for purpose,” the Cork South-West TD said.
Warren Beach, Mr O’Sullivan said, is “a safe place to swim” and is “one of the most stunning family-friendly beaches in West Cork”.
“But it’s not good enough that children, locals and visitors have to put up with swimming bans in this increasingly popular beach.”
Mr O’Sullivan said he recently attended a meeting with more than 40 local residents and businesspeople to hear their concerns surrounding the recent ‘Do Not Swim’ notice.
“My role as a TD is to do everything I can to ensure Irish Water prioritise the upgrade of the wastewater infrastructure in the Warren and Rosscarbery area,” he continued.
A spokesperson for Irish Water said the investigation into the cause of the plume which led to the notice being put in place “was inconclusive”.
“The treatment plant and pumping stations were operating as normal at the time of the event and there was no overflow.
"Irish Water ... has no plans to upgrade the wastewater treatment (Primary Treatment) at Rosscarbery /Owenahincha,” the spokesperson added.