Rock’s bathing water improves
All of Gibraltar’ beaches except for Western Beach are now fully compliant with the requirements of the revised Bathing Water Directive, with Catalan Bay and Sandy bay both improving on their status, the Gibraltar Government said.
All bathing waters in Gibraltar are sampled by the Environmental Agency on weekly basis, with the samples analysed by the Public Analyst at the Gibraltar Health Authority.
“A great deal has been done behind the scenes over the past few years to improve water quality in beaches,” said the Minister for the Environment Dr John Cortes.
“This work has proved successful, and I am absolutely delighted that, with the unfortunate exception of Western Beach, the quality of our bathing water is now better than ever since the monitoring programme began.”
The grading of Gibraltar’s bathing waters has improved in recent years, according to the latest data.
During the period 1976 to 2014 all samples had to comply with the two standards, Mandatory and Guide. The annual assessment of all the samples taken during the bathing season then confirmed whether the beach met Mandatory or Guide values.
There was very mixed implementation of these standards across Europe, so in 2006 the revised Bathing Water Directive 2006/7/EC (rBWD) came into effect. This Directive brought into effect a simplified procedure with four categories of classification: Excellent, Good, Sufficient and Poor for beaches.
The assessment carried out at the end of the 2016 on all of Gibraltar’s bathing waters demonstrated that the quality is improving with the well-known exception of Western Beach.
Western Beach continues to have an average Poor water quality which can be attributed to the historical problems with sewage from a rainwater outfall in neighbouring Spain.
The frequency of sampling in Gibraltar is far in excess of the requirements of the Directive and all results are displayed in the Environmental Agency’s website or the smartphone free app Gibenviro.