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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


Regulatory Developments

published on 04/16/2008

Assessing bathing water quality

Morbihan Beach
The new Directive will lead to a change in how water quality is expected.
Only 2 parameters will be assessed and analysed: intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli, both of which are microbiological parameters. Their presence denotes the existence of faecal contamination, as they are present in the intestines of both man and animals. The germs are easy to identify and known, when abundant, to come along with pathogens, meaning germs that can cause disease.
At least 4 samples must be taken per bathing season, and the interval between two samples must never exceed one month.
Based on the results of the analyses performed over a four-year period, the bathing water quality is classified as one of the following: poor, sufficient, good and excellent.
The Directive also calls for:
  • a visual inspection to detect the presence of tar residue, glass or plastic,
  • monitoring of cyanobacteria, macroalgae and phytoplankton and management measures in the event of algae blooms.
However, the presence of the above is not taken into account in the classification.