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Malta at top of EU list of bathing water quality

Picture - Maria Sammut

Picture - Maria Sammut

Malta has scored highly in the latest EU bathing waters quality report, issued today.

The European Commission and all bathing sites in Malta were of excellent quality and Malta tops its list of bathing water quality.

The EU said 95 per cent of the monitored bathing sites in the European Union met minimum standards for water quality in 2014. Water quality was excellent at 83 % of the sites, an increase of almost one percentage point compared to 2013. Malta

Malta was at the top of the list. All the bathing sites in Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg had excellent water quality.

These countries were followed by Greece (96%), Croatia (94%) and Germany (90%), all having a high proportion of sites with excellent bathing water quality.

Across Europe, just under 2% of bathing sites failed to meet the Bathing Water Directive’s minimum standards for water quality and were rated ‘poor’.

The three nations with the highest number of poor sites were France and Spain (3 per cent of sites in both) and Italy (1.9 per cent). In percentage terms, the worst countries were Estonia (6 percent), Ireland and the Netherlands (both around 5 percent).

The European Commission compares the quality of bathing water sampled at more than 21 000 coastal and inland bathing sites across the EU, Switzerland and Albania in 2014.

Malta's bathing water rating has been high ever since, some years ago, it set up sewage treatment plants along the coast which treat all sewage. No raw sewage is pumped into the sea.  

Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said after today's report: "At some point we are all tourists, passing some time on the beach. It is obvious that clean and safe bathing waters are important for us to stay healthy and the good news is that bathing waters continue to improve. So next time you take a dip, remember that the EU played a part in keeping your bathing water safe and clean!"

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, said: “I am glad to see that the quality of Europe's bathing waters is consistently very high and continues to improve. It shows that policies work and contribute to our quality of life when they are ambitious, well-defined and well-implemented.” 

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