EU Report: Bathing Water in Bulgaria 'Excellent'
Bulgaria is one of only five countries in the EU with over 90% of beeches meeting European guide values for bathing water purity, according to a new EU report.
The annual report on bathing water quality is produced by the European Environment Agency and the EU Commission and refers to the 2009 bathing season.
The countries where the highest percentage of swimming spots in 2009 met the guide values for water were Greece (99.8 %), Cyprus (99.1 %), France (95.7 %), Malta (93.1 %), Bulgaria (90.3 %) and Portugal (90 %).
Bulgaria has only 1 beach not complying with mandatory requirements, with countries like France, Italy, Denmark and Poland having a comparatively high percentage of non-complying waters.
Usually associated with its Black Sea beaches, Bulgaria can also boast 100% compliance with mandatory standards of its inland swimming waters.
“Mandatory” and “guide” values are set by the EU Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC) in a bid to ensure the pleasant and safe experience of tourists relishing European waters. Compliance with mandatory values classifies swimming waters as “good” or “sufficient”, while compliance with the more demanding guide values classifies them as “excellent”.
The overall compliance has been increasing since the 90s, though the report marks a slight decrease from 2008 to 2009.
A new Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) will require member-states to abide by even more stringent criteria for water purity by 2016.