Bathing ban at Lilliput lifted

The three year bathing ban at Lilliput has been lifted for this summer.

While the water quality at Lilliput failed to meet minimum EU standards at periods in 2018, 2019 and 2020 due to pollution from agricultural run off; a new EPA reports says that throughout 2020 and 2021 it improved significantly “due to actions being taken in the surrounding catchment”.

The EPA says that the work carried out by Westmeath County Council, in conjunction with the local farming community and other stakeholders is “ an excellent example of how working together can improve water quality”

“Westmeath County Council and the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) carried out investigations around the lake to identify the sources of pollution. Runoff from farming activities when it rained was identified as the main problem. The Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP) engaged with the farming community on how best to address the issues. The willingness of the landowners to put the measures in place, for example by changing their landspreading practices, was key. This approach has led to significant improvement in the quality of bathing water with all samples for 2021 being of excellent quality,” the report states.

Westmeath's two other officially designated bathing spots, The Cut at Lough Lene and Portnashangan, Lough Owel, were found to be excellent once again.

The designated bathing season in Ireland is from June 1 to September 15.