According to the latest annual report on monitoring the quality of water for swimming in Europe, more than 85 percent of European bathing sites surveyed met the EU’s stringent standards and received a rating of “excellent” for water purity, including Croatia who scored 94.4 percent in quality. The results are a good indicator of where you can find the best spots to swim this summer, reports HRTurizam on June 8, 2019.
Some 95.4 percent of the 21,831 bathing sites in the 28 EU Member States monitored met the minimum quality requirements in line with EU regulations, according to this year’s European Commission and European Environment Agency (EEA) report. The report also includes 300 bathing sites in Albania and Switzerland.
The number of bathing areas that met the strictest quality standards and received the “excellent” rating rose slightly, from 85 percent in 2017 to 85.1 percent last year. Looking at bathing areas that met the minimum conditions for assessing “satisfactory quality”, the picture is somewhat different. In 2017, they made up 96 percent, and in 2018, slightly less – 95.4 percent. The main reason for this is the opening of new bathing areas, and according to the Bathing Water Directive, the classification is based on data for four bathing seasons. Last year, water quality in 301 bathing areas (1.3% of them) in the EU, Albania, and Switzerland were rated as “bad”, compared to 1.4 percent in 2017.
“Yesterday we marked World Environment Day. There are many challenges ahead of us, and that is why it is important to remember the success stories of the European Union on ecology. The quality of European swimming spots is one of those stories that are close to everyone. By researching, reporting, tracking and exchanging professional knowledge, we strive to improve the quality of our favorite swimming spots. A new review of environmental activities will enable member states to show each other how to achieve the best and maintain the outstanding standards that have come to fruition during my mandate. I want to thank the European Environment Agency for helping to improve standards and regularly send reliable information, because you will be able to choose where you want to swim this summer easily,” said Karmnu Vella, the European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
European Environment Agency Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx added that “the report confirms that the Member States have been making efforts for more than 40 years, primarily in the area of wastewater treatment. Most Europeans today enjoy excellent quality bathing. Nevertheless, this is just one of the main issues, with the contamination of plastics and the protection of sea life, which we have to solve so that our sea, lakes, and rivers are healthier. “
Bathing water requirements are laid down in the EU Bathing Water Directive. By enforcing its provisions, we have significantly improved the quality of bathing water in Europe for the last 40 years. This directive introduced effective monitoring and management, and combined with investments in the purification of municipal wastewater, there was a drastic reduction in the amount of untreated or partially purified waste water from households and industries that are being discharged into watercourses. Local authorities are required to collect water samples at official bathing sites during the bathing season. The samples are then searched for two types of bacteria whose presence indicates pollution that causes wastewater or waste of animal origin.
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