Over 20 Portuguese Beaches Closed for Bathing Due to Low Quality of Water

A new study from the environmental association Zero has estimated that the poor quality of the water has caused more than two dozen beaches in Portugal to be closed for bathing or have been advised as unsafe for bathing.

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The assessment by Zero highlighted that the advisory against or prohibition of bathing, even for a short period, affected 22 beaches, which means there were 23 less than in the same period in 2021 when 45 beaches were affected, reports.

Zero has also warned that on the website of the Portuguese Environment Agency, there are still flaws in the available information with reasons for the prohibition of bathing areas and the procedures of regional health delegates, which have not been properly explained.

“There are similar situations of contamination where in some cases new analyses were carried out before bathing was allowed again and in others not. There are many cases of beaches where a ban [temporary or permanent] has been decreed for which there is no information in the system about the reasons that led to the decision to ban, nor any results of analyses that have been carried out,”  reads a statement issued by Zero.

Zero has also emphasized that it is necessary to investigate and prevent water pollution situations and implement adequate measures to control the situation.

According to the association, many of these bathing areas which are advised against or banned during the current bathing season are classified as “excellent” and therefore must be sporadic episodes which, in the context of the legislation, may not be questioned for their quality, but which must have the causes properly investigated.

Considering that the Portuguese Environment Agency and the General Inspectorate for Agriculture, the Sea, the Environment and Regional Planning play a decisive role in the cooperation and identification of the fundamental causes of water pollution, Zero emphasizes that it will be easier to discover the origin of these problems.

In addition, the environmental association also mentions that only one of the 58 Zero pollution beaches presented “significant problems”.

“Among the 58 beaches classified by the association as Zero pollution beaches [bathing areas where no contamination was detected in the analyses carried out over the last three bathing seasons], none were covered by a ban or prohibited to bathe in, with the exception of Armona-Mar beach in the municipality of Olhão,”  Zero pointed out in this regard.

Back in 2020, the assessment of the environmental association Zero highlighted that 20 beaches in Portugal had been banned and 45 with baths as not recommended or completely banned.

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