This report summarises the results of the monitoring carried out during the 2012 bathing season at 88 EC identified bathing waters in Wales.
It also includes the results of local authority monitoring at 54 non-EC identified beaches, an initiative established to provide a bigger picture of coastal water quality, and enables local councils to nominate sites for bathing water awards.
The primary purpose of the EC Bathing Waters Directive (76/160/EEC) is to safeguard public health and the environment by reducing the pollution of bathing waters and protecting them from further deterioriation.
The directive specifies water quality standards that should be achieved at identified bathing waters and indicates the required monitoring frequency.
These standards fall into two categories:
- Imperative, "I" (mandatory) - used as the basis for determining UK compliance with the directive. Based upon limits for faecal and total coliforms, occurrence of salmonella and enteroviruses, and physico-chemical parameters;
- Guideline, "G" (non-mandatory) – includes a limit for faecal streptococci.