Cllr Asks Council To Look At Making Canal Safe For Swimming

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A LOCAL councillor has called for the Council to look at making swimming safe again in the canal.

Sinn Féin Cllr Deirdre Ferris was asking for an update on the progress of the feasibility report for the canal in Tralee in the North Kerry Blueway at the online meeting of Tralee Municipal District on Tuesday.

Cllr Ferris said the lock gates make a very good high-water area for sea swimming which is getting more and more popular and also offers an outdoor activity for families and tourists alike.

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In reply the Council said the feasibility study in relation to the development of Blueways in North Kerry was commissioned by NEWKD in 2018.

The first stage was the development of the Tralee–Fenit Blueway which would open up the town centre to Tralee Bay via the proposed Canal Blueway and would enable the town to develop a new range of opportunities in relation to world class adventure tourism and leisure provision.

Kerry County Council has recently sought funding approval through the Urban Regeneration Development Fund to begin this process by undertaking an extensive engineering survey of the entire circa 2.5km length of the Canal and prepare designs and a plan to enable its use as a safe and healthy Blueway that achieves Blue Flag Status and provides a dynamic link to Tralee Bay.

The various elements of the extension of the Blue Way northwards beyond Tralee Bay will be considered subsequently.

In relation to swimming, a consistent high-water quality for bathing purposes would be required prior to promoting the area as a bathing location.

On previous occasions when the Canal has been used for a bathing event it had been necessary to flush the canal prior to the event.

This involves opening the Lock Gates at specific times. The Council said this would not be feasible for continuous use for bathing purposes. A sampling regime will be put in in place to determine the suitability of the water for bathing over the coming months.

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