Fall in the quality of Spain’s bathing waters

According to an annual report published by the European Commission the quality of Spain’s bathing waters fell in 2010 with 12 bathing areas losing their safe bathing water status (5 more than in 2009) in Granada, Zaragoza, Las Palmas, Tenerife, Cuenca, Toledo, A Coruña, Lugo and Guipúzcoa.

The beaches of Puertillo-Bañaderos and Bocabarranco (Las Palmas), El Socorro and Los Gigantes (Tenerife), Lourido (A Coruña), Xuncos (Lugo) and Oribarzar (Guipúzcoa) have not been classified as fit for bathing along with the rivers Maitena and Genil in the Güejar mountain range (Granada), two stretches of the river Júcar where it passes through Cuenca, the Yesa reservoir in Zaragoza and the Rosarito reservoir in Toledo.

Despite the vetoes given to some bathing areas at least 93% of Spain’s bathing Waters respect the minimum standards set by the EU (5.1% less than in 2009) according to the report by the European Agency for the Environment (EEA) compiled using information supplied by member states.

In fact 93.8% of beaches and 85.5% of rivers and lakes have been classified as fit for bathing purposes in the report.

The veto of some bathing areas in Spain are motivated principally by health risks relating to the quality of the water, building work in nearby areas and limited access or danger in the bathing areas.

Spain sent information on 2,144 bathing areas out of which 1.930 were beaches and lakes – 10.2% of the total number of bathing areas studied in the report which encompassed 21,000 bathing areas.

The analysis of the quality of bathing water focuses on detecting the presence of chemicals and biological components in order to determine whether the levels of these components comply with the thresholds set by the EU legislation.

EU countries have been given until 2015 to meet the requirements set by European legislation on the quality of bathing water.