Slovakia's bathing water lacks in quality

Only slightly more than half of bathing sites are of excellent quality.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

The best bathing water in Europe is in Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Greece and Austria.

On the other hand, Slovakia ended up in the group of countries where the quality is not so good, as stemming from the European Bathing Water Quality in 2017 Report, published by the European Environment Agency and the European Commission.

Where does Slovakia stand?

While in the top five countries at least 95 percent of bathing waters had excellent water quality, with Luxembourg reporting excellent quality in all 12 researched waters, in Slovakia only 59.4 percent of the researched waters had excellent quality.

Good quality was reported in 5 percent of the researched bathing waters, while 3.1 percent were of poor quality.

The country thus ranked fifth worst of the researched states, according to the report.

Slovakia’s neighbours posted better results. In the Czech Republic excellent quality was reported in 81.8 percent of bathing waters, while in Hungary it was 70.8 percent and in Poland 66.8 percent.

Strict criteria

The report’s authors analysed samples taken from 21,800 coastal beaches and freshwater bathing waters in 28 EU member states, plus Switzerland and Albania in the 2017 bathing season.

The vast majority of bathing water sites have good quality bathing water. In 2017, 96 percent of sites met the minimum quality requirements set out in the EU’s Bathing Water Directive. Moreover, 85 percent of bathing water sites satisfied the most stringent excellent bathing water quality standards.

The share of bathing water sites in the EU with excellent water quality has generally increased from 82.6 percent in 2013 to 85 percent in 2017, the report reads.

At the same time, 1.4 percent of EU bathing water sites were rated as having poor water quality in 2017, which is similar to the 2016 figures. These sites should be closed during the following bathing season and must have measures in place to reduce pollution and eliminate hazards threatening the health of bathers, according to the report.

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