Most bathing sites in Europe safe: EU environment agency

May 29, 2024
Tourists at the El Arenal beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. — Reuters/file

COPENHAGEN: Most of Europe´s bathing sites are safe to swim in, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Tuesday, with around 96 percent meeting the bloc´s minimum water quality standards.


Only 1.5 percent of bathing sites were rated as “poor” while 85 percent received the most rigorous “excellent” rating in the EEA´s annual report.

If tests show that the water quality at a bathing spot is poor for five consecutive years, authorities are required to prohibit swimming at the site.

The report surveyed 22,081 bathing sites across all EU member states, as well as in non-EU Albania and Switzerland.

Each site was graded as either “excellent”, “good”, “sufficient” or “poor” depending on the levels of bacteria detected. The presence of bacteria indicates pollution, mostly caused by sewage and livestock farming.