Europe has safe waters for... bathing

O.D.
English Section / 30 mai

Europe has safe waters for... bathing

Versiunea în limba română

Very good news arrives before the summer season. According to the latest annual report on bathing waters, the vast majority of bathing areas in Europe meet the highest European Union standards for "excellent" water quality. This represents 85.4% of the most frequented bathing waters in the EU. No less than 96% of all bathing waters officially identified in the EU meet the minimum quality standards, with only 1.5% being classified as "poor quality", according to an assessment carried out by the European Environment Agency in collaboration with the European Commission. The rating highlights the safe bathing areas that swimmers can find in Europe this summer. It focuses particularly on bathing safety by monitoring bacteria that can cause serious illness, rather than overall water quality. Greece, Croatia, Cyprus and Austria are the countries with the highest proportion of excellent quality bathing waters. In Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria and Romania, all officially identified bathing waters meet at least the minimum quality standard in 2023. Since the adoption of the Bathing Water Directive in 2006, the proportion of bathing waters of poor quality has decreased in last decade and has stabilized since 2015. However, the health risks associated with bathing remain a cause for concern: in 2023, 321 "poor quality' bathing areas were reported in the EU. The conclusions of this report are based on the monitoring of 22,081 bathing places throughout Europe, which were reported to the European Environment Agency for the 2023 season. Among them are locations in all the member states of the union, as well as in Albania and Switzerland. The report is based on data reported by Member States for the seasons 2020 - 2023. Although most bathing waters in Europe are in excellent condition from a bacteriological perspective, surface and groundwater pollution remains an important problem, which could be amplified by changes climate, the report also states. This report was published as part of the European Green Week, organized by the European Commission every year.

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