UK's bathing waters improve, but still second worst in EC

The UK has the second dirtiest bathing waters in the EC, according to the latest European Commission report on Member States' compliance with the 1976 EC Directive on bathing water quality. But the National Rivers Authority (NRA) has detected evidence of sustained improvement in bathing water quality over the last three years.1

The two reports present different but complementary views of bathing water quality in the UK.

The Commission's report suggests that only Germany has a worse record of compliance with the Directive's bacteriological standards for marine waters. In total, 79% of the UK's 455 designated bathing waters met the mandatory standards in 1992, while 36% met the tighter guideline standards (see table ).

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