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Bathing water quality: Austria in first place - Vienna Online - Austria

Bathing water quality: Austria in first place – Vienna Online – Austria


99.2 per cent of Austria’s bathing water was rated as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.
© APA / HELMUT FOHRINGER (avatar)

Austria ranks first in the latest EU Commission report on the quality of bathing water in Europe.

Of a total of 261 Austrian bath areas examined last year, 97.7 percent were rated “excellent” – more than all other EU countries plus Albania and Switzerland. Malta came in second place, while Greece and Croatia came in third place. The taillights were Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

Austria ranks first in the quality of bathing water in the European Union

A total of 99.2 percent of all local water bodies were rated ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in the EU report. This puts Austria at the forefront of 29 countries that adhere to the requirements of the Bathing Water Directive. In total, European bathing waters were examined at nearly 22,000 measuring points.

99.2 percent of Austria’s water bodies are ‘excellent’

“The great result is the confirmation that our actions and investments in the past decades in the amount of 50 billion euros to keep the water clean are having an impact,” Federal Minister Norbert Tuechnig (ÖVP) said on the occasion of the current arrangement. “Just in time for the start of the summer bathing and holiday season, guests from near and far can be sure: The quality of our natural, local bathing water is excellent.”

85 percent of European bathing areas are rated as excellent

Overall, the Copenhagen-based European Environment Agency rated about 85 percent of European bathing areas as excellent. Nearly 95 per cent of the sites have complied with minimum EU water quality standards. In the previous year it was only about 83 or 93 percent.

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The authority considered contamination with fecal bacteria in the water

For the evaluation, the FDA considered contamination of the water with fecal bacteria, namely, Enterococcus and Escherichia coli. These can lead to diseases in humans. As a result, the water quality depends on the detected amount of these bacteria, which come mainly from wastewater and agriculture. The European Economic Area recommends shower bans, warnings or other measures for bathing areas classified as poor.

Improving the quality of bathing water through EU measures

This year’s results are evidence that more than 40 years of EU action to improve the quality of bathing water across Europe has benefited our health and the environment, said EEA Executive Director Hans Bruinincks. “The EU Zero Pollution Action Plan and the revision of the EU Bathing Water Directive will solidify our commitment to preventing and reducing pollution in the coming decades.”

The share of poor quality bathing water is 1.5%

According to the data, the proportion of poor-quality bathing water has declined since 2013. In 2021, poor bathing water represented only 1.5 per cent of all bathing water in the European Union – and in 2013 it was 2 per cent. The report emphasized that the assessment of pollution sources and the corresponding implementation of integrated water management measures can also help improve water quality.