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Glossary



Bathing water: any element of surface water where the competent authority expects a large number of people to bathe and has not imposed a permanent bathing prohibition, or issued permanent advice against bathing.

Bathing water profile: a document consisting of a description of the physical, geographical and hydrological characteristics of the bathing water, the location of the monitoring point, an identification and assessment of causes of pollution that might affect bathing waters and impair bathers´ health, an assessment of the potential for proliferation of cyanobacteria, macro-algae and/or phytoplankton.

Bathing water quality assessment: the process of evaluating bathing water quality, using the assessment method defined in Annex II of the Directive 2006/7/EC.

Competent authority: the authority or authorities that have been designated to ensure compliance with the requirements of legislation.

Cyanobacteria : also known as blue-green algae, blue-green bacteria, and Cyanophyta, they are a phylum of bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis. They can survive in extreme conditions, transforming in spores

Cyanobacterial proliferation: accumulation of cyanobacteria in the form of a bloom, mat or scum.

Escherichia coli: bacteria Gram- living in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals (birds and mammals, including humans). Their presence in water bodies indicates the presence of fecal contamination (it is the main index, together with enterococci). Each human expels from 100 billions (10^11) to 10 trilions (10^19) of Escherichia coli cells every day. The limit for bathing water is 500 bacteria/100 ml (the number of bacteria is expressed in CFU or MPN depending on the test method adopted).

Intestinal enterococci: bacteria Gram+. Their presence in water bodies indicates the presence of fecal contamination. The limit is 200 bacteria/100 ml (the number of bacteria is expressed in CFU or MPN depending on the test method adopted).

Macro-algae: plants formed by a multicellular body (thallus) which has a simple structure but reaches, in most evolved forms, an appearance that somewhat resembles non-arboreal terrestrial plants.

Management measures: the following measures undertaken with respect to bathing water:
(a) establishing and maintaining a bathing water profile;
(b) establishing a monitoring calendar;
(c) monitoring bathing water;
(d) assessing bathing water quality;
(e) classifying bathing water;
(f) identifying and assessing causes of pollution that might affect bathing waters and impair bathers´ health;
(g) giving information to the public;
(h) taking action to prevent bathers´ exposure to pollution;
(i) taking action to reduce the risk of pollution;
(j) taking action to  eliminate the causes of pollution and improve bathing water quality.

Monitoring point: the location within the bathing water where:
(a) most bathers are expected; or
(b) the greatest risk of pollution is expected, according to the bathing water profile

Phytoplankton: group of plant autotrophic photosynthetic organisms in the plankton community. In presence of solar radiation, they convert melted inorganic compounds into organic compounds. Phytoplankton are the foundation of the food chain of the great majority of water aquatic ecosystems are responsible for half of the total amount of oxygen produced by all plant life on Earth.

Pollution: the presence of microbiological contamination or other organisms or waste affecting bathing water quality and presenting a risk to bathers´ health.

Seasonal reports: official monthly reports informing on the classification of bathing areas and if in each tract of the coast bathing is possible.

Short-term pollution: microbiological contamination that has clearly identifiable causes, is not normally expected to affect bathing water quality for more than approximately 72 hours after the bathing water quality is first affected and for which the competent authority has established procedures to predict and deal with in Annex II of the Directive 2006/7/EC.