According to a report recently issued by European officials, approximately 85% of European bathing waters met the EU’s strictest water quality standards during 2021.
About Romania, the report says that, as result of the conducted study, 84% of areas where people can take baths were rated “excellent”.
“The annual bathing waters report published on Friday, 3 June 2022, shows that in 2021, almost 85% of European bathing areas met the strictest water quality standards of the European Union. The study provides an overview of the bathing areas in Europe that have the best water quality, and that swimmers can enjoy during the summer. The study was conducted by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in cooperation with the European Commission, and was based on the monitoring of 21,859 bathing areas across Europe”, the European Commission said.
According to the report, in Romania 84% of bathing water is considered to be excellent, while the last member country in the ranking was Poland, with a percentage of only 44.5% good bathing water. On the first place is Austria (with 97.7% excellent waters), followed by Malta (96.6%) and Greece (95.8%).
According to European officials, the monitoring of the waters was carried out last year in all EU member states, Albania and Switzerland.
The report shows that, in general, quality of the coastal waters, which account for up to two-thirds of all bathing areas, is much better than inland water quality. In 2021, 88% of EU bathing coastal waters were rated excellent, compared to 78.2% of inland bathing waters.
At the same time, the study reveals that, in 2021, the minimum water quality standards were met in approximately 95% of the assessed areas. Countries where at least 90% of bathing water falls into the “excellent quality” category were: Austria, Malta, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark and Germany.
The good news is that the share of unsatisfactory quality areas is on declining trajectory since 2013. In 2021, unsatisfactory bathing water accounted for only 1.5% of all EU areas, compared to 2% in 2013. Unsatisfactory quality is often the result of short-term pollution.
EU bathing water legislation defines the conditions under which its quality can be classified as “excellent”, “good”, “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory”, depending on the levels of bacteria and dejection detected.
If water quality is classified as “unsatisfactory”, EU Member States must take certain measures, such as a bathing ban or a recommendation not to enter the water, informing the public and implementing appropriate corrective action.