EU gives 9 bathing spots poor grades

The EU has rejected nine of the countries large bathing spots for poor water quality, reports news agency TT.

The EU tested 447 Swedish bathing spots along the coasts and inland last year. In nine of the bathing spots, the EU found high levels of intestinal bacteria on one or several occasions during the past four years.

Most of the bathing areas are in Skåne in the south of the country. Two of them are in central Sweden.

At three of the bathing places, the EU judged the water quality more severely than Swedish authorities. "We do different interpretations of the measurements, several of the elements are around the limit and we're going to look into it," says Anneli Carlander, at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control.

New EU rules require that the authorities responsible for bathing areas – in Sweden it is the municipalities – set up clear signs informing people about the quality of the water. The four classes of water quality are: great, good, satisfactory, and bad.

Authorities must close any bathing area that fails for five years in a row.

According to the EU, the percentage of coastal bathing areas with the classification of "great" water quality has decreased in Sweden from 75 percent to 55 percent from 2010 to 2011.

But the Institute for Infectious Disease Control says the EU's statistics do not reflect reality because the directive calculates water quality in a new way. Carlander says the water quality of Swedish bathing areas has remained relatively unchanged over the past five years.

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