Third highest-quality bathing water in the EU
Third highest-quality bathing water in the EU.
But sewage problems persist Sewage runoff remains one of the most significant causes of water pollution at bathing sites despite improvements, according to a European Environment Agency report.
Malta, which according to the report has the third highest-quality bathing water in the EU, has witnessed several problems of sewage pollution in recent years.
One such incident last February saw divers at Ras il-Ħobż in Gozo again complaining of thick underwater sewage clouds, a problem which has been repeatedly highlighted but never addressed.
“This is a cause of concern for public health and can lead to poor quality bathing water.
Pollution from sewage is often the result of storm water overflows of sewage or water draining from farms and farmland or from poorly maintained cesspits and septic tanks,” the report states.
The report, which ranks all coastal and inland bathing sites around the EU, found that Malta was behind only Luxembourg and Cyprus for its bathing water quality.
The remaining site, not identified in the report, is one ranking level below, although still above the minimum quality requirements.
Across Europe, the report found a marked improvement in bathing quality between 2015 and 2016, with only 316 out of more than 21,000 sites classified as poor.
Under EU legislation, such sites have to be closed in the following bathing season, and must have measures in place to reduce pollution and eliminate health hazards.