A new Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) was adopted on the 15th February 2006 and was transposed into Gibraltar law by the Environment (Quality of Bathing Water) Regulations 2009.
Designated bathing waters need to comply with standards which are twice as strict as they were prior to 2015. The directive requires the monitoring of just two microbiological indicators of faecal contamination: E Coli and Intestinal Enterococci. The choice of these indicators reflects recognition that faecal material, for instance due to sewage contamination, is the primary health threat to bathers.
Since the end of the 2015 bathing season, bathing sites will classified into four categories: “excellent”, “good”, “sufficient”, or “poor”. These classifications are based on an analysis of the sample results taken over the current bathing season and the preceding three years instead of a single year’s result as at present. Where the water quality is consistently good over a three year period, the frequency of sampling may be reduced. The Directive also requires member states to draw up management measures for each site to minimise the risks to bathers, based on an assessment of the sources that are likely to affect them. Despite Brexit, and the recent developments and changes, Gibraltar continues to follow best practice in line with the Directive with regards to sampling and reporting.
As specified by the Directive, information on a bathing site’s quality classification, the results of water quality monitoring, the site’s management measures and other relevant information is made readily available to the public in partnership with The Department of the Environment, Sustainability, Climate Change and Heritage, both through displays at each site and through the media and internet.
Gibraltar has six bathing areas: Camp Bay, Little Bay, Catalan Bay, Eastern Beach, Sandy Bay and Western Beach.
Click on the beach name to view the state of the water quality based on the latest analysis.*