How polluted are our swimming lakes?

How polluted are our swimming lakes?

The bathing season starts again, not only in the outdoor pools, but in the swimming lakes too.  In addition, we already reported on the final report of the Niedersächsische Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz (NLWKN) and the Universitätsklinikum Bonn on the contamination of wastewater treatment plants and surface waters with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. One of the MEDUWA innovations, the WIS model, simulates the extent of drug distribution in the Vechte.

What quality do swimming lakes have now? The results of the Landesgesundheitsamt in Hanover and the Ministry of the Environment of North Rhine-Westphalia currently don’t express any concerns about the quality of their swimming areas. The EC Bathing Water Directive 2006/7/EC regulates the regular inspection of the designated bathing sites.

However, it should be noted that these data and measurements only refer to designated EU swimming sites. Therefore, bathing areas that are not designated may therefore be contaminated with antibiotic-resistant germs. These can be particularly dangerous for small children, senior citizens or people with a weakened immune system. Check if the swimming lake is a EU bathing site. Thus, you can be sure to swim in a lake free of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Further information on the EU bathing sites and their current water quality can be found here for NRW, Lower Saxony and the Netherlands.