More Swedish bathing areas below EU standards

The water at 23 Swedish bathing areas did not meet EU requirements last year, according to an EU Commission report on the quality of bathing water in 2007.

Six additional bathing areas have been red-listed in the new report, although the report points out that the situation isn’t dire enough to require the areas to be shut down.

Having a bathing area red listed doesn’t necessarily mean that it is dangerous to swim there, but that the quality of the water doesn’t fall within prescribed EU limits for physical, chemical and microbiological parameters.

Checks were performed on a total of 847 bathing areas last year, 406 of which were on the coasts and 441 on Swedish lakes.

Only areas at which complete tests were performed are included in the report, as prescribed by the EU directive on bathing water.

The condition for EU bathing areas remains largely unchanged from 2006, when measured by the number of areas which meet the minimum EU standards.

The EU Commission has long faulted member states which have removed bathing areas from the list of sites survey from one year to the next. The Commission believes it has not received an adequate explanation as to why the bathing areas have been removed, either because they represent bad publicity or for some other reason.

The Commission has initiated legal proceeding against eleven members states, including Sweden, for having removed bathing areas from the list of surveyed areas without adequate explanation. The Commission is currently investigating the response it has received from the Swedish government.

During 2007, 95 percent of bathing areas on Sweden’s coasts met EU minimum standards under the bathing water directive, one percent fewer than in 2006. The corresponding figure for inland bathing areas remained unchanged at 88 percent.

The bathing areas which were red-listed, based on tests taken during last year’s bathing season are as follows:

Högbobadet in Sandvik municipality; Duse Klippbad in Säffle; Böda hamn och Kesnäsviken in Borgholm; Käppalabadet on Lidingö; north and south Sätrastrandsbadet in Stockholm; Torekovs strand in Båstad; Revet Jonstorp in Höganäs; Halvmånen in Landskrona, and Skepparp in Simrishamn; Skåre fortification; Skateholm, Dalabadet, Gislövs strandmark and Äspö in Trelleborg; Ljungskogen in Vellinge; Lilleskog in Ystad; Lerkil in Kungsbacka; Sundhammar Vik in Kungälv; Mofalla station in Mullsjön; the camping area near Lake Vättern in Hjo; and Filsbäck in Lidköping.

Two bathing were also closed: Hästhagen in Svartån in Örebro, and Norra Ringsjöstrand in Hörby.