According to a new analysis published by the European Environment Agency and the European Commission, nearly 85 percent of the 21,859 bathing sites across Europe met the European Union’s most stringent standards for “excellent” water quality.
Coastal areas, which account for two-thirds of all bathing sites, and natural waters are generally better than pool bathing areas.
In 2021, 88 percent of EU coastal bathing sites will have achieved an excellent rating, compared to 78.2 percent of artificial bathing waters. Since the adoption of the Bathing Water Quality Directive in 2006, the percentage of areas with “excellent” water quality has increased, stabilizing in recent years at around 88 percent for coastal bathing sites and 78 percent for pool bathing sites.
The report found that 95.2 percent of the areas assessed in 2021 met the minimum water quality requirements. In Austria, Malta, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Denmark, at least 90 percent of bathing waters were of “excellent” quality.
In Hungary, 60.2 percent (165) of the 274 bathing sites included in the list meet the highest quality standards. Some 64 bathing sites received a good rating, six an unsatisfactory rating, and four a poor rating. A further 35 Hungarian bathing sites did not receive an EU rating last year.
The proportion of bathing sites with poor water quality has decreased since 2013. Last year, bathing waters with poor bathing water quality comprised 1.5 percent of all EU bathing sites, compared to 2 percent in 2013. Poor quality is often the result of short-term pollution.