Palm Bay, near Margate, Kent. (Credit: James Temperton)
The European Union has issued new thresholds for unacceptable bacterial concentrations in beach water, causing speculation that 25 British beaches may be in jeopardy of being unfit for bathing, according to Wired. The new standards are in line with World Health Organization recommendations.
As a result, Britain’s Environment Agency has tightened its standards for beach water quality this year. The Environment Agency uses 100-milliliter beach water samples to determine bacterial levels, which act as a water quality indicator.
Beach water health in Britain has improved markedly from 1988, going from 65 to 99.5 percent of beaches regarded as acceptable under the old standard. However, now that the EU has raised standards, as many as one in 20 beaches are expected to be unfit for swimmers.
Top image: Palm Bay, near Margate, Kent. (Credit: James Temperton)