Bacteria leaves Malmö awash with bathing bans

Bacteria leaves Malmö awash with bathing bans
Beach bums in Malmö have been left out to dry after high levels of bacteria caused the city to impose bathing bans at two of its popular swimming spots.

The Sundspromenaden area in Västra hamnen has been shut down for the first time after samples showed high levels of intestinal bacteria in the water.

“The water flow in the area is high, which is a a little strange,” Lars Johansson, Malmö city operations manager, told news agency TT. “But we have taken samples and hope to get the results back next week.”

Further investigation has led to the closure of the beach at Barnviken in Sibbarp, where tests have also shown unsafe water levels. The ban is set to remain in effect until further tests prove the water is free from harmful bacteria.

The news comes after the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet) recently reported that the majority of Sweden’s bathing areas have never been cleaner, since regular testing began in 1996.

Good weather and no flooding is cited as one of the reasons, since it reduces the risk of sewage spill. This year, 94 percent of all controlled beaches have passed national testing, compared to the usual annual average of 88 percent.

The most common reason for failing to meet required standards is high levels of intestinal bacteria from humans and animals.

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