Zero Pollution: Vast majority of Europe’s bathing waters meet the highest quality standards
The latest assessment (European bathing water quality in 2020), put together by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in cooperation with the European Commission, is based on the 2020 monitoring of 22 276 bathing sites across Europe. These cover the EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland throughout 2020.
The share of ‘excellent’ coastal and inland swimming sites has stabilised in recent years at around 85% and in 2020 was 82.8% across Europe. The minimum ‘sufficient’ water quality standards were met at 93% of the sites monitored in 2020 and in five countries — Cyprus, Austria, Greece, Malta and Croatia — 95 % or more bathing waters were of excellent quality.
Full report here
The quality of Europe's bathing water has greatly improved over the past 40 years, also thanks to the EU’s Bathing Water Directive. Effective monitoring and management introduced under the Directive, combined with other EU environmental law such as the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (1991), led to a drastic reduction in untreated or partially treated municipal and industrial waste water ending up in bathing water. As a result, an increasing number of sites have witnessed pollution reduction, leading to considerably improved water quality. The ongoing revision of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive is assessing how, across the EU, better action can be taken to deal consistently with sewage overflows, especially in light of climate change impacts.
All EU Member States, plus Albania and Switzerland, monitor their bathing sites according to the provisions of the EU's Bathing Water Directive.
The legislation specifies if the bathing water quality can be classified as 'excellent', 'good', 'sufficient' or 'poor', depending on the levels of faecal bacteria detected. Where water is classified as 'poor', EU Member States should take certain measures, such as banning bathing or advising against it, providing information to the public, and taking suitable corrective actions.
(PM EEA shortened)
Full article can be found here