The share of bathing places with excellent water quality in European countries The number of beaches that met the strictest quality standards and received the rating of “excellent” increased slightly, from 85 percent in 2017 to 85,1 percent last year. If we take into account the bathing areas that have met the minimum requirements for the assessment of “satisfactory quality”, the picture is somewhat different. There were 2017 percent of such beaches in 96, and slightly less in 2018 – 95,4 percent. The main reason for this is the opening of new bathing areas, and according to the Bathing Water Directive, the classification is based on data for four bathing seasons. Last year, the water quality in 301 bathing areas (1,3% of them) in the EU, Albania and Switzerland was assessed as “poor”, compared to 1,4% in 2017. According to the latest annual report on monitoring the quality of bathing water in Europe, more than 85 percent of European bathing areas surveyed met strict EU standards and were rated “excellent” for water purity, including Croatia with a quality of 94,4 percent. The results published today are a good indicator of where the best bathing water can be found this summer. European Environment Agency Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx added that “the report confirms that the efforts of the member states have paid off over more than 40 years, primarily in the field of wastewater treatment. Most Europeans today enjoy excellent quality bathing water. Still, this is just one of the main issues, along with plastic pollution and the protection of marine life, that we need to address in order to make our seas, lakes and rivers healthier.” “Yesterday we marked World Environment Day. We face many challenges and that is why it is important to remember the success stories from the European Union on the topic of ecology. The quality of European beaches is one such story that is close to everyone. By testing, reporting, monitoring and exchanging expertise, we strive to improve the quality of our favorite beaches. The new review of environmental activities will allow Member States to show each other how best to achieve and maintain the excellent standards that have been achieved during my term of office. I thank the European Environment Agency for its help in improving standards and sending reliable information on a regular basis, because based on this information you will easily be able to choose where to swim this summer.”, Said Carmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. As many as 95,4 percent of the 21.831 bathing areas in the 28 EU Member States covered by the monitoring met the minimum quality requirements in accordance with EU regulations, as stated in this year’s report of the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report also includes 300 beaches in Albania and Switzerland. Bathing water requirements have been established EU Bathing Water Directive. By implementing its provisions, we have significantly improved the quality of bathing water in Europe in the last 40 years. This directive introduced effective monitoring and management, and in combination with investments in urban wastewater treatment, there has been a drastic reduction in the amount of untreated or partially treated wastewater from households and industry discharged into watercourses. Local authorities are required to collect water samples at official bathing areas during the bathing season. The samples are then searched for two types of bacteria whose presence indicates contamination caused by wastewater or animal waste.