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European bathing water quality in 2019: EEA assessment June 09,2020   |  Source: EEA

Bathing is an extremely popular and important leisure activity in Europe. This annual assessment of European bathing sites shows how well environmental protection measures are implemented,allowing people to make informed decisions on where to go to best enjoy Europe’s inland and coastal bathing sites.

The number of bathing waters in Europe is increasing every year. In 2019, countries identified 22 295 bathing sites, 164 more than the previous year and 813 more than in the 2015 bathing season. Two thirds of bathing sites are located along the sea coasts of Europe.

Bathing water quality in Europe remains high. The minimum water quality standards were met at 95% of sites. The share of excellent sites grew continuously from the adoption of the Directive until 2015, when it stabilised at around 85%. In 2019, it was 84.6% across Europe and 84.8% in the EU countries.

The quality of coastal sites is generally better than that of inland sites. In 2019, 87.4%, of coastal bathing sites were classified as of excellent quality compared to 79.1% of inland sites in the EU.

The share of poor-quality sites has dropped since 2013. In 2019, poor bathing waters constituted 1.3% of all sites in the EU, compared to 2% in 2013. This shows improvements in management of poor bathing

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