EEA releases report on 2018 European bathing water quality

11 June 2019

Article: 53/2310

The European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published on 6 June 2019, was compiled using information from more than 21,000 bathing waters, both coastal and inland, in the 28 EU member states. It also covers bathing waters in Albania and Switzerland. The report is a joint production of the EEA and the European Commission (EC).

Europe's bathing water quality has improved following effective monitoring and management, introduced under the EU bathing water directive. Local authorities collect water samples at officially identified bathing sites throughout the bathing season. These samples are analysed for two types of bacteria which indicate pollution from sewage or livestock. Depending on the levels of bacteria detected, the bathing water quality is classified as 'excellent', 'good', 'sufficient' or 'poor'. In the 2018 bathing season, more than 22,000 bathing waters were monitored throughout Europe.

In 2018, 85.1% of bathing water sites met the bathing water directive's most stringent 'excellent' quality standards. The report provides a chart showing the proportion of bathing water sites with excellent water quality in European countries, with the UK reported to have 63.2% of sites classified as ‘excellent’. 

The HPS Weekly Report of 4 June 2019 (53/2208) provides the results of Scottish bathing water quality.

Source: EEA, 6 June 2019