Carnlough beach has failed to meet the minimum standard for bathing water quality.
The borough’s three main beaches (Ballygally, Brown’s Bay and Carnlough) were tested for water quality on 20 occasions from mid-June to mid-September by the Department of the Environment’s marine division.
And while Ballygally and Brown’s Bay both achieved the highest standard for bathing water, Carnlough failed to meet the mandatory requirement, according to standards set out in the EC Bathing Water Directive.
However, under the revised Bathing Water Directive – which comes into effect on April 1, 2015 – the water quality can be assessed over a three-year period. Using that method, the water quality at Carnlough was deemed to be sufficient by the Department.
According to minutes from the latest meeting of Larne Borough Council’s environment committee, the DoE has indicated that an unusually wet August played a major part in Carnlough’s failure to meet the guideline standard.
The minutes state: “What happened at Carnlough this season was unfortunate and the extremely wet weather in August had no doubt been the major contributing factor to the failures.
“Due to the heavy rainfall it was likely that any combined sewer overflows were operating as designed. As this was during the open season for slurry spreading it was also likely that organic matter/ would have been washed out to seas also.”