Annually we facilitate the bathing water quality dataflow of the EEA, consolidate the bathing water quality reference database, undergo quality check of the reported data, communicate with the reporting countries and conduct the quality assessment of more than 22,000 European bathing waters (all EU Member States, as well as Albania and Switzerland).
Bathing Water monitoring and assessment
European countries manage their bathing waters according to the provisions set out in the Directive. Before the start of the bathing season, they identify national bathing water sites, define the length of the bathing season for each site and established monitoring calendars in accordance with the Bathing Water Directive (BWD). During the bathing season, local and national authorities take bathing water samples and analysed them for the types of bacteria (E. coli and intestinal enterococci) that indicate pollution from sewage and livestock breeding. The assessment is done under the provisions of Annex I and Annex II of the BWD and based on a set of adequate number of samples of E. coli and intestinal enterococci per assessment period – the last four bathing seasons. Bathing water sites for which quality assessment is not possible are classified as either: ’not enough samples’ (not enough samples were provided for the 2020 season or throughout the whole assessment period); ‘new bathing waters’ (classification not possible yet because bathing water is newly identified and a complete set of samples is not yet available); ‘bathing waters with changes’ (classification is not possible yet after changes affecting bathing water quality were implemented).
To allow Europeans to make informed decisions on where to go to best enjoy Europe’s inland and coastal bathing sites, we prepare a number of dissemination products in cooperation between the European Environment Agency and European Commission's DG Environment:
An annual assessment report assesses the bathing water quality in all 28 EU Member States1, as well as Albania and Switzerland, and thereby gives an indication of the areas where the quality of bathing is expected to be good this year.
National reports contains details on bathing water monitoring in the specific country and an assessment of the results and the trend in bathing water quality.
Interective map The interective map dashboard allow users to view on-line the quality of the bathing water in the more than 22 000 coastal beaches and freshwater bathing waters across Europe, see the results for selected country, filter the data according to desired bathing water category (e.g. coastal, lake, river) and observe how bathing waters quality have changed throughout Europe in recent years