• Sweden edition
 
EU gives failing grade to eight Swedish beaches

EU gives failing grade to eight Swedish beaches

Published: 12 Jun 2009 09:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Jun 2009 09:14 GMT+02:00

Last year, the water at 258 coastal and 212 freshwater public beaches in Sweden was tested by the EU.

Following the tests, six coastal beaches and two freshwater beaches received a failing grade from the Commission.

Significantly fewer beaches failed to meet EU water quality standards in comparison to the 23 beaches named in the 2007 report, but then the Commission tested 847 beaches, nearly twice as many as were tested for the 2008 recent report.

Now beaches are only tested if they are frequented by an average of at least 200 guests per day.

According to the EU’s most recent set of water quality standards for public bathing areas, the levels of two sets of fecal bacteria are to be measured: Intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli bacteria.

Norderstrand beach near Visby on the island of Gotland is one of the beaches which failed to meet EU standards.

“Since last year’s bathing season we haven’t examined any of the sources of pollutants at Norderstrand. But if the beach received poor marks according to the EU bathing water directive, we’re obligated to look into it," said Karolina Johansson, an inspector with the local environmental and health department,” to the TT news agency.

“Nothing is planned right now, but we’ll get on it once we read through the report.”

Just because a public beach has been “red-listed” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s dangerous to swim there, but rather it shows that it has lower water quality than other bathing areas.

“If there’s a little E. coli in the water, it’s not going to affect you at all if you don’t drink it, and you normally don’t take it the amount of water needed [for there to be any effect],” said Håkan Marklund, head of bathing area supervision with Sweden’s Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket).

He also explained that the results from tests performed last year also don’t necessarily have any bearing on the quality of water at Swedish beaches this year.

The following beaches failed to comply with the EU’s bathing water quality standards in 2008:

Sätrastrandsbadet N on Lake Mälaren in Stockholm

Flatenbadets barndel in Stockholm

Farstanäsbadet in Södertälje

Falsterbo strandbad in Vellinge

Strandbaden in Höganäs

Norderstrand in Visby

Stensjö badplats in Falkenberg

Träslövsläge in Varberg

Related links:

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:08 June 12, 2009 by whattodo?
How sweet and thoughful of the EU to wear a pretty face by coming and testings Swedens water for us. Isn't that something we can do for ourselves here in our own country? The EU is just trying to make points by looking as if it cares about the environment. Swedish researchers are fully capable of filling test tubes with water samples, bringing them to a lab, analyzing them, and determining a course of action.
17:24 June 12, 2009 by karex
This is nothing but political pressure. Of course Sweden can test its own waters. However, if Sweden is not complying with some EU directives and possibly will not in the near future (such as the state monopoly on the sale of alcohol and other "sacred cows"), what better way to "punish the naughty child" than to go straight for the jugular? Looks quite bad for a country who holds preserving the environment and a clean way of living almost as a religion.

The bad marketing is intentional in my opinion. They want to send Sweden a message.
18:14 June 12, 2009 by spy
Or perhaps it is just a fair assesment. .

And some Swedish quarters just can't bear criticsm of self proclaimed 'paradise'.
19:32 June 12, 2009 by karex
No doubt it should be a fair assessment. I find it hard to believe that the EU would stoop to falsifying reports. The question is: how valid is the idea of such an assesment anyway? I mean, don't they have better things to spend their money on? That's why I questioned the real motive behind the initiative.
20:15 June 12, 2009 by Nemesis
This is actually a good thing on the part of the EU.

Looks like some major sewage works in Sweden, need major overhauls, proper mainenance and possibly rebuilt. Someone has not been doing there job. This should have been picke dup long before the EU picked up on it as they always five years behind when everyone else knows it for a fact.

Sweden, can now stop hiding behind false images and start doing something about a practical problem on the ground.
01:41 June 13, 2009 by RoyceD
nicely said Nemesis, this is not a topic that should be derailed by talk of political motivation. The subject is that there are beaches where it is unsafe to swim. We are the only ones who can stop ourselves from killing the world we live in, we must act, it is our responsibility.
07:21 June 13, 2009 by richardbw
The EU 'Blue Flag' beaches are a a hotly discussed topic throughout the EU. My parents live on the south coast of England and they have the same complaints/political arguments (EU punishment of a more eurosceptic state). In particular, the local government complain like mad when a beach 'fails' the EU tests and advertise like mad the beaches that pass the tests. My wife is from France and it is exactly the same there. Gosh, maybe we are more alike than we like to admit...
08:55 June 13, 2009 by Puffin
Is it really such a big deal that 8 out of 470 tested beaches fail the test?
09:18 June 13, 2009 by jack sprat
The Blue Flag incentive is one of the few useful things the EU has achieved.

Many shabby and dirty beach areas have been transformed throughout Europe.

Amazing what a ittle negative publicity can achieve.

Likewise the positive publicity is a great selling point or attraction for beaches with Blue Flag status.

Long may it continue.
19:33 June 15, 2009 by spy
I must admit I was probably to blame - I was caught short and just had to lay cable.
19:48 June 15, 2009 by nlidukdese
If one of those eight happens to be the one where your kids go to play, then yes, I think it would be a big deal.

I'm glad the EU makes a point of maintaining the same minimum standards across all member states. As much as I'd like to think that individual countries can take care of maintaining and testing bathing-water quality themselves, reality appears to be different, even in Sweden.

Potential conflicts between public health and tourism revenues should not tempt the odd local politician to ignore existing standards and be anything less than honest. Irrespective if it's Spain, Romania or Sweden.
Today's headlines
Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits
Actor Robin Williams. Photo: AP

Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits

The internet search giant has revealed what Swedes googled for most over the summer period with the top 10 made up of diverse search topics ranging from sport to wasp stings READ  

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons

A man in central Sweden was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault on Friday after doctors noticed that both his twin sons had sustained serious and unexplained injuries. READ  

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Clocking in. File photo: Shutterstock

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial

Officials finalized plans on Friday for the "Gothenburg guinea pigs" who will test out the six-hour workday, a move it's hoped will cut down on sick leave, boost efficiency, and ultimately save Sweden money. READ  

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job
Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/TT

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job

Three Swedish soldiers risk prison after they were found to be drunk while guarding Stockholm's Royal Palace. The men, who were all armed at the time, were charged on Friday. READ  

Stockholm
What do the Swedes do when summer's over?
Photo: Isabela Vrba

What do the Swedes do when summer's over?

The heatwave is well and truly over, the days are getting shorter, and winter is coming. With this in mind, The Local's Isabela Vrba chatted to ten Stockholmers about how they plan to tackle the autumn. READ  

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend

Swedes are spending more than ever on makeup - and a growing chunk is going directly to their fingernails, new figures showed on Friday. READ  

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops
The pharmacy section of a grocery store. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops

After a drastic increase in the number of paracetamol poisonings in Sweden, authorities have said the drug should only be available in pharmacies. READ  

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden
File photo: Andreas Hagerman/Flickr

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden

After finding traces of listeria in ham sold in Sweden, food companies decided on Friday to recall several Danish cold cuts. READ  

Sweden Floods
More rain expected as floods hit day four
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

More rain expected as floods hit day four

UPDATED: Sweden's floods showed no signs of abating over Thursday night, with highways closed, emergency teams working overtime, and more rain on the way. READ  

Ikea opens first store in the Balkans
An Ikea city centre store in Hamburg. Photo: TT

Ikea opens first store in the Balkans

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has opened its first store in the former Yugoslavia, near Croatia's capital Zagreb. The move marks the company's first step in an expansion to the Balkans market. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

734
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se