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Bathing water quality

What's new ?

  • 25/05/2016: 'The European Environment Agency and the European Commission have published today the Report on European bathing water quality in 2015.
    As usual, the report is based on data from the previous bathing season, so this year's report is a compilation of data gathered in summer of 2015, indicating the quality of bathing water expected in 2016. This year’s review covers more than 21,000 bathing water sites across Europe. While 96 % of bathing sites met the minimum requirements, more than 84 % met the more stringent ‘excellent’ level.
    The full report can be consulted here.

    Bathing water report



EU at the forefront to protect bathers' health!

The latest EEA report confirms that bathing waters in Europe are of high quality, with 95 % of these sites meeting minimum water quality standards set out in EU legislation.

Bathing water policy is one of the success stories in EU water policy and important to protect human health and the environment. 

© Peter Kristensen

Since the 1970s, the EU has had rules in place to safeguard public health and clean bathing waters. The revised Bathing Water Directive (BWD) of 2006 updated and simplified these rules. It requires Members States to monitor and assess the bathing water for at least two parameters of (faecal) bacteria. In addition, they must inform the public about bathing water quality and beach management, through the so-called bathing water profiles. These profiles contain for instance information on the kind of pollution and sources that affect the quality of the bathing water and are a risk to bathers' health (such as waste water discharges).

In this light, the Commission introduced a symbol on bathing water classification in 2011.

The BWD also complements other environmental policy:

Information to the public: the bathing water report

Every year the Commission and the European Environment Agency publish a summary report on the quality of bathing water, based on the information provided by Member States. The report tracks the water quality at more than 21 000 bathing sites across the EU, Switzerland and Albania.

EU Reports: 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 and national country reports.


eeasWhat's the status of your favorite bathing spot?

Check out the EEAs interactive map and tabular viewers.

Country reports can be downloaded here.


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