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Sound and independent information
on the environment

You are here: Home / The European environment – state and outlook 2010
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Figure Percentage of European coastal bathing waters complying with mandatory value (or with at least sufficient quality) and meeting guide values (or with excellent quality) for the year 2012 by sea region
Sea regions arranged by the percentage of compliance with mandatory values or at least sufficient quality. EU Member States and Croatia. Five Member States (Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg and Slovakia) and Switzerland have no coastal bathing waters. The quality classes under the New Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) are jointed with compliance categories under the Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC).
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Data Visualisation Percentage of European coastal bathing waters complying with mandatory value (or with at least sufficient quality) and meeting guide values (or with excellent quality) by sea region.
Located in Data and maps Visualise your data
File chemical/x-pdb 50 years of protecting Europe's environment
Today the European Union has the most environmentally friendly arsenal of rules in the world and has done more to tackle pressing ecological problems, such as climate change, than any other major power. But it has not always been like this. Caring for the environment did not feature in the Treaty of Rome, the document that gave birth to the modern day EU. Yet environmental problems were never far away. Europe’s love affair with the car was moving into top gear, industry was busy belching out pollutants and raw sewage was being pumped into our rivers and seas.
Located in Environmental topics Policy instruments Multimedia
File Sources of water pollution
(Transcription of audio on video) Water can be polluted from many sources. Faecal contamination from sewage makes water unpleasant and unsafe for recreational activities such as swimming, boating or fishing. Many organic pollutants, including sewage effluent and farm and food-processing wastes consume oxygen, suffocating fish and other aquatic life. Nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates, from everything from farm fertilisers to household detergents, can 'overfertilise' the water causing the growth of large mats of algae, some of which are directly toxic. When the algae die, they sink to the water bottom, decomposing, consuming oxygen and damaging ecosystems. Chemical contaminants including heavy metals, pesticides and some industrial chemicals can threaten wildlife and human health. Sediment run-off from the land can make water muddy, blocking sunlight and, as a result, killing wildlife. And irrigation, especially when used improperly, can bring flows of salts, nutrients and other pollutants from soils into water. Source: SOER 2005
Located in Environmental topics Biodiversity Multimedia
Figure Inland bathing water quality in the European Union, 1990-2012
The figure shows the bathing water quality in different European countries over time: 1990, 7 EU Member States; 1991 to 1994, 12 EU Member States; 1995-96, 14 EU Member States; 1997 to 2003, 15 EU Member States; 2004, 21 EU Member States; 2005-06, 25 EU Member States; 2007 to 2012, 27 EU Member States. No inland bathing waters are reported from three Member States (Cyprus, Malta and Romania). The quality classes under the New Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) are jointed with compliance categories under the Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC).
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Highlight Blue-green algae - check the water before you swim
Most beaches, lakes and rivers in Europe were clean and healthy last year. But water quality can be affected by many unforeseen factors, including sewage, agricultural waste and algae. The European Environment Agency (EEA) recommends checking local water quality information before you jump in.
Located in News
Figure Blue Flags in marinas and beaches (2004)
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Percentage of European coastal bathing waters complying with mandatory values (or with at least sufficient quality) and meeting guide values (or with excellent quality) for the year 2011 by sea region
Sea regions arranged by the percentage of compliance with mandatory values (or at least sufficient quality). EU Member States, Croatia and Montenegro. Five Member States (Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg and Slovakia) and Switzerland have no coastal bathing waters. The quality classes under the New Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) are jointed with compliance categories under the Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC).
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Reported bathing waters in Europe per million inhabitants, reported inland bathing waters per 1 000 km2 and reported coastal bathing waters per 10 km of coastline
Specific number of bathing waters per million inhabitants, per coastline and per land area
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Bathing water quality in the European Union in the 2010 and 2011 bathing seasons
Bathing water quality in the European Union in the 2010 and 2011 bathing seasons under strict and less strict rules
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100