New European regulations came into effect on 1st January 2004 stating that water intended for human consumption must be regularly monitored to ensure that it is free from microorganisms and that it meets quality standards set out in the European Communities Drinking Water Regulations, 2000 S.I. No. 439. These regulations were updated in 2007 and are set out in S.I. 278 of 2007.
Sea Water - Blue Flag
The blue flag campaign started in France in 1985 and is run by the non-governmental, non- profit organisation "Foundation for Environmental Education" (FEE). It was set up to "promote sustainable development in the coastal areas through high water quality standards, safety standards, environmental management standards and environmental education.
Recreational Water - White Flag
The White Flag for Leisure Facilities is a national hygiene/environmental award aimed at swimming pools, sports halls, gymnasiums and other indoor leisure facilities throughout Ireland. This award is based on the international "blue flag" scheme and emphasises high standards in both environmental activities and hygiene.