Health Board monitors water quality in over a hundred public bathing sites

Haaneeme beach
Haaneeme beach Source: Merilin Pärli/ERR

The Estonian Health Board is monitoring water quality in more than a hundred public bathing sites and bodies of water during this year's bathing season. Samples gathered so far show that the water quality at Estonia's open bathing sites is very good.

With this year's bathing season now in full-swing, the Estonian Health Board will monitor the water quality at the fifty-three official sites open to the public, between May and August. The water is also monitored for levels of waste, oil and blue-green blooms caused by Cyanobacteria.

According to Aune Annus-Urmet, the Estonian Health Board's chief environmental health officer, water samples have been taken from all beaches, and the water quality recorded at open bathing sites is very good.

The official bathing season has already begun at seven sites each in Harju County, Järva County and Tartu County, with six bathing sites in Ida-Viru County, five in Hiiumaa and four in Pärnu County also now open. Lääne, Valga and Võru counties each have three official public bathing sites, with two in Lääne-Viru County, Saaremaa and Viljandi County. The final public site open for bathing so far this season is in Jõgeva County. Initial samples have been taken from all these sites, with the results indicating good water quality.

In a change from last year, Haabneeme beach in Viimsi has been added to the list of open bathing sites, while Pärnu Raeküla beach has been removed due to poor water quality.

"The quality of the bathing water at Raeküla beach has been poor for five years in a row, which is why, from this season onwards, a permanent recommendation not to swim there will have to be implemented," said Annus-Urmet.

The bathing season has not yet officially been declared open at the Lake Pedel dam beach in Valga County nor at the bathing spots of Aidu, Kamari and Mustjõe in Jõgeva County.

In addition to the 53 open bathing sites, water quality monitoring is also carried out on a total of over 100 bathing sites and public bodies of water throughout Estonia.

In Harju County, water quality is monitored in 29 separate bodies, with 19 in Tartu County and 11 in Järva County. 10 bodies of water in Ida-Viru County are subject to monitoring, while 7 sites in each of Pärnu County and Hiiumaa are also regularly analyzed to assess quality. The Health Board also monitor 5 bodies of water in Valga County and 5 in Lääne-Viru County, with water quality in a further 4 sites in each of Jõgeva, Viljandi and Võru counties regularly assessed. Water monitoring by the Estonian Health Board also takes place in 3 water bodies in Lääne county, 3 on Saaremaa and 1 in Rapla County.

In Estonia, the official bathing season runs from June to the end of August. The official bathing season opens at sites that are well maintained and regularly cleaned, where the safety of swimmers is guaranteed, and where information regarding water quality and the authorities responsible for the site is readily available.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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