Tender: Out of season bathing in Ireland – the proposed research would collate all available scientific evidence to help inform policy development and guidance for ‘out of season’ bathing in Ireland

“How can bathers’ health be best protected outside of the current bathing water season?”

The study should include the following:

(i)Identification of national/international research relating to bathing water quality monitoring results, & the associated public communication strategies. (a) Review existing/emerging technologies & methodologies suitable for monitoring ‘out of season’ bathing water quality, including traditional, field-proven & rapid assessment techniques; (b) Review best practice & emerging approaches for effectively communicating monitoring results effectively at the point of need; (c) Provide clear recommendations to inform policy development for ‘out of season’ bathing in Ireland in relation to (a) & (b). (These recommendations should be made in the context of winter bathing water quality monitoring results).

(ii) Comparative review of Member States (MS) management approaches to winter or “out of season bathing”. (a) Review monitoring, risk assessments & public communication strategies considering, in particular, the winter months & the extent of the designated season; (b) Investigate/compare any best practice monitoring, communication & management practices at federal/local level for winter bathing; (c) Provide recommendations to inform policy development for ‘out of season’ bathing in Ireland.

(iii) Review the extent of illness arising from bathers presenting at healthcare facilities & include recommendations on how the public can report issues to facilitate accurate data collection/records. Evidence Review must include, but is not limited to : Irish Water Monitoring data (available end of Q3 2022)

Output is to provide a report including: (i)summary of the overall study findings in terms of monitoring & communication, & management of ‘out of season’ bathing; (ii) recommendations to inform policy development for ‘out of season’ bathing in Ireland; (iii) Short guidance document for bathers including a simple risk assessment tool.

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