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Bathing water quality
Sanitary control organisation
Advices and recommendations
Water and health

Why and How is Bathing Water Quality Assessed?


Table of contents


Interpreting the Results

published on 01/08/2008

Bathing prohibition measures

The bathing area manager is responsible for the safety and hygiene conditions that prevail during the bathing season. Being vested with police powers in his town, the mayor is responsible for prohibiting or limiting bathing by taking a municipal order, should a hazard or contamination arise in connection with the local waters and to take whatever measures are appropriate to inform the public.
The Prefect may stand in for the Mayor if required, particularly if the contamination affects more than one town.

Temporary prohibition in the event of poor analysis result

When the analysis results exceed the imperative values and there exists health risks to bathers, bathing may be temporarily prohibited until such time as the analysis not in line with the regulatory requirements are met. If necessary, additional parameters may be analysed (pathogens, chemical compounds, etc.).
In addition, in the event that toxic microalgae (e.g. cyanobacteria) or hydrocarbons should emerge on the beaches and/or in the water, both bathing and water use may be temporarily prohibited.

Temporary preventive prohibition in the event of pollution, even with no analysis

In areas known to be at risk, mayors may also make use of preventive measures, without carrying out any analysis, to get ahead on predictable pollution, following a specific event (storm, wastewater wet well failure, etc.). This makes it possible to prevent any risk of potential exposure.

Permanent prohibition due to repeated pollution

Pursuant to the regulations, any non-compliant bathing areas shall be prohibited for the following season, so that the quality of the environment may be restored. All non-compliant bathing areas, in Categories C or D, may be prohibited.
no swimming sign