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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 now need to comply with new standards that are twice as strict as they were prior to 2015. The new directive only requires the monitoring of just two microbiological indicators of faecal contamination: E Coli and intestinal enterococci. This simplification reflects recognition that faecal material, for instance due to sewage contamination, is the primary health threat to bathers.
At the end of the 2015 bathing season, bathing sites will classified into four categories: “excellent”, “good”, “sufficient”, or “poor”. These classifications will be 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. This means that the classification will be less susceptible to bad weather or one-off incidents. Where the water quality is consistently good over a three year period, the frequency of sampling may be reduced. This new 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.
Information on a bathing site’s quality classification, the results of water quality monitoring, the site’s management measures and other relevant information to be made readily available to the public, both through displays at the 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.*
Environment (Quality of Bathing Water) Regulations 2013