Between May and September each year our designated bathing waters are monitored for levels of bacteria. This period is selected by the European Union and each country reports their results for that period. What this doesn’t take note of is that the bathing season does not reflect how people use the resource. This year of COVID-19 has shown that there are a growing number of people swimming on a daily basis. Their decision to swim is not guided by water quality information – because it is not available.
There should be a greater emphasis on ensuring good bathing water quality. Recent reports have shown shocking evidence that raw untreated sewage enters coastal areas and particularly around rainfall events and stormwater overflows.
On my walk this morning I spoke to a person who swims every single day of the year. There are hundreds of people who have adopted this new activity for their health and wellbeing. There should be a genuine effort to ensure improved water quality and monitoring of bathing areas to allow continued safe use of the resource – to ensure swimabilty of the resource.