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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


Performing the Assessment

published on 01/08/2008

Taking water samples

The samples are taken during the bathing season, under the aegis of the DDASS services, or by laboratories approved by the Minister of Health.

Bathing water monitoring period

Pas-de-Calais Beach
The monitoring period covers the entire bathing season when the bathing sites regularly receive visitors. It may vary from region to region, due to the differing climate condition. In mainland France, monitoring generally takes place from 15 June to 15 September, but may be shorter in freshwater bathing areas. In the overseas administrative units, monitoring is performed year-round.

Sampling frequency

The regulations in effect provide that a sample shall be taken 10 to 20 days prior to the opening of the season, followed by samples to be taken at least on a bi-monthly basis, throughout the bathing season. When, during the 2 previous years, the quality of bathing water has remained compliant with the imperative value set by the regulations, the number of samples may be lowered, without however falling below 1 per month.
If, during the season, a result shows a decline in the quality of bathing water, particularly if the imperative value requirement is not met, test samples are taken as quickly as possible, until the situation returns to compliance with the regulations in effect once again, so as to guarantee the absence of any health risk for the users.

Sample analysis

The analyses are carried out by approved laboratories as part of the water health inspections performed under the Minister of Health. They must comply with the standards in effect.