The water quality is excellent in most Swiss bathing sites

Almost all Swiss bathing sites have excellent water quality, according to the European Environment Agency’s new report on bathing water, published in Copenhagen on Friday. Four are considered insufficient, all in French-speaking Switzerland.

Only 2.1% of the 189 sites tested in Switzerland in 2021 were classified as insufficient due to the presence of dangerous bacteria in the water.

Also read: Lake Geneva, a dying lake

By 2020, two bathing sites had been deemed insufficient. There are currently four, including three in the canton of Vaud, on the shores of Lake Geneva: the Villeneuve campsite, Coulet near Saint-Prex and Dorigny, near the campus of the University and the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL ). The fourth site deemed insufficient is Clendy, near Yverdon, on Lake Neuchâtel.

For bathing sites deemed insufficient, the European Environment Agency (EEA) advises authorities to ban bathing, to issue warnings or to take other measures.

Austria in the lead

Overall, the EEA ranked 85% of European bathing sites as excellent in 2021. Nearly 95% met EU minimum water quality standards, compared to 83% and 93% respectively. previous year.

Austria, followed by Malta, Greece and Croatia, are at the top with 98% of bathing sites with excellent water quality. Poland, Slovakia and Hungary are in the lead.

In 2019: Lake Geneva is barely less polluted than the oceans

For its annual report, the EEA analyzed data from 21,859 bathing sites in Europe, including the 27 EU member states, as well as Albania and Switzerland.

Fecal bacteria

For the assessment, the authority looked at the contamination of water by faecal bacteria, namely intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli, which come mainly from wastewater and agriculture. These bacteria can cause disease in humans.

According to the report, the proportion of poor quality bathing water has decreased since 2013: in 2021, poor quality water accounted for only 1.5% of all EU bathing water, compared to 2 % in 2013.

On our blogs: Why is Lake Geneva suddenly turning turquoise at this time of year?

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