Temi ambientali
Servizio Sanitario Regionale
Arpae Emilia-Romagna
English version
Ti trovi in : Arpae / Balneazione / Argomenti / Classificazione acque di balneazione /

Classification of bathing areas

Bathing water quality assessments are carried out in relation to each bathing water, after the end of each bathing season and on the basis of the set of bathing water quality data compiled in relation to that bathing season and the three preceding bathing seasons. Sets of bathing water data used to carry out bathing water quality assessments shall always comprise at least 16 samples, as the bathing season in Emilia-Romagna has a total duration of more than 8 weeks (art. 7, c.4, Legislative Decree no. 116/2008).

Bathing water quality assessment may be carried out on the basis of a set of bathing water quality data relating to fewer than four bathing seasons if the bathing water is newly identified, provided they meet the requirements for the minimum number of samples.

Bathing waters are classified in 4 quality classes: excellent, good, sufficient and poor, on the basis of the density of the indicators intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli.

If bathing waters are temporarily classified as "poor", Regions shall take the following measures, with effect from the bathing season that follows its classification:

  • adequate management measures, including a bathing prohibition, with a view to preventing bathers´ exposure to pollution;

  • identification of the causes and reasons for the failure to achieve "sufficient" quality status;

  • adequate measures to prevent, reduce or eliminate the causes of pollution;

  • alerting the public by a clear and simple warning sign and informing them of the causes of the pollution and measures taken, on the basis of the bathing water profile.

If a bathing water is classified as "poor" for five consecutive years, a permanent bathing prohibition shall be introduced. However, the Region may introduce a permanent bathing prohibition before the end of the five-year period if it considers that the achievement of "sufficient" quality would be infeasible or disproportionately expensive.

 

CLASSIFICATION METHOD

The assessment of bathing water quality is achieved through the assessment of 95th percentile and 90th percentile of the microbiological parameters Intestinal enterococci and Escherichia coli in the data series above, and the comparison of the values obtained with the limits contained in table 1, shown at the link below, taken from the table of coastal and transitional waters, contained in Annex I of the Legislative Decree no. 116/08.

Table 1: Limits for the definition of bathing water quality classes

For each quality class, defined by the parameters listed in the above table, there isa description as set out below.

  • Poor: if, in the set of bathing water quality data for the last 4 bathing seasons, the percentile values of microbiological enumerations are worse than the "sufficient" values set out in Table 1.

  • Sufficient: in the set of bathing water quality data for the last 4 bathing seasons, the percentile values of microbiological enumerations are equal to or better than the "sufficient" values set out in Table 1.

  • Good: in the set of bathing water quality data for the last 4 bathing seasons, the percentile values of microbiological enumerations are equal to or better than the "good" values set out in Table 1.

  • Excellent: in the set of bathing water quality data for the last 4 bathing seasons, the percentile values of microbiological enumerations are equal to or better than the "excellent" values set out in Table 1.

In the early years of implementation of the actual legislation - when the number of available data was not uniform, relatively to the newly introduced requirements, established in the Legislative Decree no. 116/08 - the classifications were made using also the data of the previous legislation (DPR 470/82 and subsequent amendments), for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, in accord to the article 16, point 3 of D.lgs. 116/2008, that defines the equivalence between Fecal streptococci and fecal enterococci and between fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli.

From 2013 on, the classification is entirely based using data according to the actual legislation (D.lgs. 116/2008).

As regards cyanobacteria, macro-algae, marine phytoplankton, tarry residues and materials such as glass, plastic, rubber or any other waste, when such pollution is found presenting a risk to health, adequate management measures shall be taken in order to prevent exposure. Those parameters will not be considered for the purposes of classification.

 

PERIOD 2016-2019



The quality of sea bathing waters in Emilia-Romagna, according to the analysis performed in the years 2016-2019, is in summary "excellent" in 89 bathing waters, "good" in 5, "sufficient" in 2 and "poor" in 1, as it contained in the resolution of the regional council nr.2179 of November 2019, 22nd.

In the table linked below it is possible to consult the 2018 classification of the entire Emilia Romagna coast, together with the comparison with the previous classifications (2015-2018, 2014-2017, 2013-2016).

  

Bathing waters classification in the region of Emilia-Romagna.