The bathing water quality is an important factor for public health. A report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission found that over 85% of the bathing water sites monitored across Europe in 2016 meet the most stringent quality standards.
Among the countries with excellent bathing water quality Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Romania, and Slovenia achieved at least ‘sufficient’ quality in 2016. In five countries, 95% or more bathing waters were assessed as being of ‘excellent’ quality: Luxembourg (all 11 reported bathing sites), Cyprus (99%of all sites), Malta (99% of all sites), Greece (97% of all sites), and Austria (95% of all sites). Note that, despite France, Italy, and Spain being top holiday destinations, including for swimmers, the highest number of bathing sites with ‘poor’ water quality were found in these countries: Italy (100 bathing water sites or 1.8%), France (82 sites or 2.4%) and Spain (39 sites or 1.8%). Nevertheless, European bathing waters are much cleaner than forty years ago. Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries explained in an official report.
The excellent quality of European Bathing Water sites is not by chance. It is the result of hard work by dedicated professionals. It shows the importance of nurturing EU policy that promotes green jobs. This year our European Green Week, 29 May – 2 June, will celebrate this investment. Water technicians, flood protectors, environmental chemists, waste water managers – all play an essential role in keeping bathing water quality high.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) offers detailed information on bathing water quality for all countries on its official website. The EEA has also published an updated interactive map for those who want to see which countries perform best in regards to bathing water quality.