84 of 87 bays in Malta & Gozo classified as having ‘excellent’ bathing water quality
Nice one! 84 out of a total 87 beaches across Malta and Gozo have been classified as having excellent bathing water quality in the season of 2020, the European Environment Agency has reported.
The report details the quality of the seawater in 87 coastal areas. 84 (96.6 per cent) of beaches achieved the ‘excellent’ status while just three (3.4 per cent) received the ‘good’ status. Still a great result!
How they’re monitored
“Each bathing water that is identified by the reporting country needs to have a monitoring calendar established before the bathing season. The monitoring calendar requirements can be summarised as follows: (1) a preseason sample is to be taken shortly before the start of each bathing season; (2) no fewer than four (alternatively, three for specific cases) samples are to be taken and analysed per bathing season; and (3) an interval between sampling dates never exceeds one month,” the report explains. All 87 beaches had a monitoring calendar implemented.
European Environment Agency - Malta bathing quality report
Quality in recent years
While the water quality results are great, it has declined slightly over the last four years. In 2017 and 2018, 86 bathing waters (98.9 per cent) were classified as excellent, 85 in 2019 (97.7 per cent) and now 84 (96.6 per cent) for the 2020 season.
This result placed Malta in fourth within the EU following behind Cyprus, Austria and Greece, while Croatia came fifth. These all had at least 95 per cent of their bathing waters rated as excellent.
“Bathing water quality in Europe remains high and it’s good news for Europeans, who will be heading to beaches and bathing sites this summer,” said Virginijus Sinkevicius, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans.
“This is the result of more than 40 years of Bathing Water Directive, hard work by dedicated professionals and cooperation. The Zero Pollution Action Plan adopted in May will help to keep the waters healthy and safe and our seas and rivers clean.”