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1st place for Austria in the quality of bathing water in the European Union

1st place for Austria in the quality of bathing water in the European Union

A total of 99.2 percent of all local water bodies were rated as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in the EU report. This puts Austria at the forefront of 29 countries that adhere to the requirements of the Bathing Water Directive. In total, European bathing waters were examined at nearly 22,000 measuring points.

“The great result is the confirmation that our actions and investments in the past decades in the amount of 50 billion euros to keep the water clean are having an impact,” Federal Minister Norbert Tuechnig (ÖVP) said on the occasion of the current arrangement. “Just before the start of the summer bathing season and the holidays, guests from near and far can be sure: the quality of our local natural bathing water is excellent.”

Overall, the Copenhagen-based European Environment Agency rated about 85 percent of European bathing areas as excellent. Nearly 95 percent of the sites have met EU minimum water quality standards. In the previous year it was only about 83 or 93 percent.

For the evaluation, the FDA considered contamination of the water with fecal bacteria, namely Enterococcus and Escherichia coli. These can lead to diseases in humans. As a result, the water quality depends on the detected amount of these bacteria, which come mainly from wastewater and agriculture. The European Economic Area recommends shower bans, warnings or other measures for bathing areas classified as poor.

This year’s results are evidence that more than 40 years of EU action to improve the quality of bathing water across Europe has benefited our health and the environment, said EEA Executive Director Hans Bruinincks. “The EU Zero Pollution Action Plan and the revision of the EU Bathing Water Directive will solidify our commitment to preventing and reducing pollution in the coming decades.”

According to the data, the proportion of poor quality bathing water has decreased since 2013. In 2021, poor bathing water made up only 1.5% of all bathing water in the European Union, down from 2% in 2013. The report emphasized that the assessment of pollution sources and corresponding pollution Implementation of integrated water management measures can also help improve water quality.